File photo: People riding the underground in Cairo (Reuters)
During an online meeting of health ministry officials, Abdel-Ghaffar was apprised that Covid hospitalisation rates fell nationwide by 60 percent in the last week of July, compared to the third week of the same month.
Between 19 and 27 July, Egypt recorded a daily average of 177 coronavirus infections and a total of 12 deaths, the health ministry had earlier reported.
During the meeting, Abdel-Ghaffar said up to 75 percent of the coronavirus cases admitted to isolation hospitals in June and July were unvaccinated.
The minister appealed to citizens to receive the booster doses to maintain public health, the statement added.
Until late July, Egypt fully vaccinated more than 38 million people, and administered booster shots to six million people.
Over 49 million Egyptians received the first dose, meeting 98.7 percent of the country’s vaccination target, and over 38 million received the second dose, meeting 76.7 percent of the target, Abdel-Ghaffar said in a previous statement.
The drop comes nearly a month after a surge in Covid cases in Egypt, especially during the vacation of Eid Al-Adha, from 9 to 16 July.
In early July, the Ministry of Health reported an increase of 6.9 percent in coronavirus infections following a long period of a major decline in infection tolls nationwide.
Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, spokesperson for the health ministry, attributed the rise in infections to the emergence of some sub-variants of the Omicron strain of the virus, especially the BA.5 variant, which he said are “more transmissible, but do not cause severe infections.”
He also shed light on the citizens’ laxity in adhering to the precautions, as well as the waning of COVID-19 vaccine or infection-induced immunity after the passage of the six-month period following vaccination or infection.
The country has recently eased many of the coronavirus-related restrictions it had imposed since March 2020. This included allowing mosques and shrines nationwide to revert to normal operation hours after two years of limited service, as well as allowing weddings and celebrations at indoor hotel halls as long as they followed the precautionary measures.
In mid-June, Egypt announced the lifting of all COVID-related entry restrictions for all travellers.
To date, no monkeypox cases were detected in Egypt, the acting health minister said.