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Egypt may see a rise in coronavirus infections in coming weeks: WHO

Dr Pierre Nabeth added that coronavirus infections are on the rise due to the resumption of international flights, lifting lockdown measures, and the increase in social interaction.

Ahram Online , Thursday 29 Oct 2020
Coronavirus
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World Health Organisation (WHO) officials warned on Thursday that Egypt may witness an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks.

The announcement was made during a teleconference with the Egyptian press by Dr Pierre Nabeth, the Manager of Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment (HIM) in WHO's Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) .

“Egypt was the second country to be affected by the coronavirus in the region and the number of cases reached the peak in late June then it declined by the start of August to less than 200 cases per day, “ Nabeth said.

He added that coronavirus infections are on the rise due to the resumption of international flights, lifting lockdown measures, and the increase in social interaction.

Nabeth stated the weather plays a role in increasing the cases of coronavirus, adding that it is expected to see an increase in respiratory diseases in this time of the year “fall/winter."

“Coronavirus infections are on the rise, but the situation in the EMRO region is different than in Europe with the exception of Bahrain, Oman, and Iran. We have noticed the pandemic slowed down in countries that adopted restrictive measures like Morocco and Jordan,” Nabeth added.

Over the past two weeks, Egyptian officials have urged caution in anticipation of any spike that could result in a second wave, especially given the resurgence in coronavirus cases in many European countries with the advent of autumn.

Dr Rana Hajjeh, the director of Programme Management in WHO EMRO, noted in the teleconference there is still no vaccine for the coronavirus.

Hajjeh added there were five countries in the MENA region participating in the clinical trials of coronavirus vaccines, including Egypt, and that four countries were going to participate in the trials soon.

Egypt has officially reported 107,030 cases of coronavirus, including 6,234 fatalities and 99,174 full recoveries since the onset of the pandemic. 

The number of coronavirus cases in the country witnessed an upticked in the last several weeks.

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