CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has warned of an imminent coronavirus third wave and stressed that people should adhere to precautionary measures.
Egypt had “survived” the first and second waves and was “on the cusp” of a third, he said during a Mother’s Day speech, adding: “We hope that it will pass (without significant harm).”
Adhering to precautionary measures and exercising extreme caution was important, he said, especially during the holy month of Ramadan when people would want to gather. “We want the situation to end safely.”
A few days ago the Ministry of Health warned of an increase in COVID-19 cases during the coming weeks, coinciding with the month of fasting.
Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Dr. Hala Zayed said that, through the lessons learned from the first wave and the hike in last April’s cases, there was the expectation that this April may also witness an increase in cases, as the peak occurred in the seventh week of each wave.
Presidential adviser for health affairs, Mohamed Awad Tageldin, also anticipated the coming period to see more COVID-19 infections.
Egypt was in a state of COVID-19 case fluctuations, he said, and the numbers were rising and decreasing by 10 percent daily. The third wave had started in other countries, he added. “But we hope that we will not reach this stage. A third wave may occur in Egypt if we do not adhere to the precautionary measures.”
Islam Anan, a professor of health economics and epidemiology, expected Egypt to witness a third wave by next month. The country was still at the end of its second wave and there was an increase in the number of casualties, he said.
Anan added that countries were divided into parts where COVID-19 spread along the emergence of new waves, as they appeared first in Europe, then Asia, the US, and finally the Middle East and Egypt, pointing out that the third wave had begun in Europe.
But Dr. Hossam Hosni, head of the scientific committee to combat coronavirus, said Egypt was currently in a stage of epidemic stability, having controlled the second wave.
“The occurrence of a third wave of the virus is related to factors including low societal awareness, climate changes, and the lack of necessary caution, which is the basis for surviving the rise of infections again. We are currently in the stage of epidemiological stability.”
An official at Egypt’s Health Ministry said an update was being made to the treatment protocol in order to contribute to high recovery rates among the sick, following the previous update in November.