In a statement on Saturday, the ministry updated its health advice to people in Egypt on how to deal with cold symptoms or suspected coronavirus infection so that they can avoid developing severe symptoms and passing infection to others.
The advice comes a day after Egypt’s Acting Health Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar confirmed to media that Egypt is witnessing a rise in the number of cases infected with the new coronavirus variant Omicron.
Different data worldwide suggest that the Omicron may mimic common cold and flu symptoms, including runny nose, sore throat, headache, sneezing, and fatigue.
In its Saturday statement, the ministry urged citizens to take the coronavirus vaccine as the “first line of defence” that protects society from the negative impacts of coronavirus.
The vaccines also decrease the possibility of developing severe coronavirus symptoms, hospitalisation, and admission to ICUs, the ministry affirmed.
Separately, the ministry warned that Omicron is spreading quickly and can cause unvaccinated people to develop severe symptoms.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday that although Omicron is less severe than the Delta strain but it still poses a danger, especially for unvaccinated people.
In the current wave of the pandemic in Egypt, unvaccinated people were 65 times more likely to be hospitalised due to COVID-19 compared to those who received two vaccine shots and 260 times more likely to be hospitalised compared to those who received a booster shot, according to data released by the health ministry on Saturday.
So far, Egypt has secured around 129 million doses of different coronavirus vaccines, Abdel-Ghaffar told media on Friday.
Egypt has administered around 36 million first vaccine shots, 24 million second shots, and half a million booster shots, Abdel-Ghaffar added.
Egypt has started sending text notifications to fully vaccinated individuals detailing appointment slots for booster shots of the coronavirus vaccine last month.