Coronavirus will not completely disappear: Egypt's health official

Ahram Online , Tuesday 28 Apr 2020

An Egyptian doctor wearing two protective masks checks a patient
An Egyptian doctor wearing two protective masks checks a patient's lung X-ray at the infectious diseases unit of the Imbaba hospital in the capital Cairo, on April 19,2020, during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. (AFP)

The coronavirus will not completely disappear and would rather become a chronic disease like influenza and swine flu after the world manages to curb its swift spread, an Egyptian presidential health adviser said.

"Coronavirus will be a chronic disease after a while. As more people get infected, the virus will develop their immunity,” presidential health adviser Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din said in TV comments late on Monday.

“It will not completely disappear, as is the case with other viruses,” he added.

Finding a vaccine against the virus would take at least nine months, he said

Egypt is following up on clinical trials carried out for coronavirus drugs around the world, he said, while stressing that prevention is the only way out at the moment as no drug has yet demonstrated efficacy against COVID-19.

He urged Egyptians to exercise caution and strictly comply with precautionary measures to protect themselves against the highly infectious virus.

He sought to assure the public that the current infection rate and the death toll in Egypt remain within predictions, saying the rising curve of infections is expected to continue until it levels off.

Egypt's health ministry reported 248 new coronavirus cases on Monday, a new daily record since the virus was first detected in the country in mid-February, bringing the total number of infections to 4,782 nationwide.

Of the total, 337 have died and 1,236 have recovered.

Monday's cases and fatalities are not a one-day outcome but accumulative figures of previous days, he pointed out.

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