Egypt records 54% decline in coronavirus infections last week; reduces isolation hospitals to 4

Ahram Online , Wednesday 6 Apr 2022

Egypt recorded a 54 percent decline in the number of coronavirus infections and a 45 percent decline in COVID-19-related-deaths over the past week, leading the country to reduce the number of isolation hospitals nationwide, according to acting Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar.

Health Minister
Acting Health Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar during a meeting on Tuesday, 5 April 6, 2022 to follow up on the situation of the pandemic countrywide (photo courtesy: the Ministry of Health and Population)

In a statement on Wednesday, the ministry said that coinciding with the decline in infections, it was decided to reduce the number of facilities designated for full isolation to only four hospitals — El-Agouza Hospital in Giza, Qaha Hospital in Qalioubiya, El-Odaisat Hospital in Luxor, and El-Nagila Hospital in Matrouh.

The ministry also reduced the number of partial isolation hospitals to 16 facilities nationwide, said Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar — the health ministry’s spokesperson.

The decision was issued following a meeting between Abdel-Ghaffar and the ministry’s top officials on Tuesday evening to follow up on the situation of the pandemic countrywide.

In mid-March, the health ministry announced that it would issue weekly, instead of daily, reports on the number of coronavirus infections and deaths, right after the fifth wave of the pandemic — which drove infection rates up in January and February — started to gradually subside.

The ministry said in its latest bulletin on the pandemic that was released on Saturday that Egypt’s average daily coronavirus infection toll decreased to an average of 559 infections and eight deaths per day from 26 March to 1 April.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the minister reviewed the occupancy rates in all hospitals nationwide for all patients during last week, the statement added, indicating that the occupancy rates reached 29 percent in internal beds and 49 percent in intensive care units, while ventilator usage stood at 24 percent.

Vaccination rates and rewarding incentives

The spokesperson added that the coronavirus vaccinations rate since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan has ranged between 100,000 to 150,000 doses per day.

The health minister ordered earmarking “rewarding incentives” for medical staff that achieve high rates of vaccinating citizens during the holy month of Ramadan, according to the statement.

Egypt — which started its vaccination campaign in early 2021 — has so far vaccinated more than 32.5m citizens to date, according to the ministry, which has been urging citizens to register on its website to receive the vaccine.

By the second half of 2022, the country plans to vaccinate 70 percent of its eligible population, which includes 12-year-olds and above, in order for life in Egypt to return to the way it was before the pandemic.

In late March, Minister Abdel-Ghaffar announced that 52 percent of the targeted population has been vaccinated.

Egypt has already eased its coronavirus restrictions with the commencement of Ramadan, lifting a two-year suspension on the traditional Ramadan charity banquets, where free food is provided to millions of needy people around tables in the streets.

Mosques have also been allowed to open their annex event halls and conduct afternoon prayer sermons (El-Asr) and mass Ramadan night prayers (Taraweeh) during the holy month.

Ramadan late-night prayers (Tahajjud) and seclusion in mosques for a period of time (I'tikaf), however, are still banned.

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