The Egyptian Health Ministry reassured the Egyptians on Sunday that all precautionary measures are being taken to counter the spread of the new Covid-19 variant amid international and regional concerns about the spread of the virus by the end of summer.
Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population, explained that all the currently circulating mutants belong to the mutated Omicron and do not cause severe disease.
The spokesperson announced that since April, cases of Covid-19 in Egypt began to decrease significantly, reaching the lowest rates compared to previous years, and that there have been no deaths since the last recorded case on 16 March, 2023 until now.
Abdel Ghaffar affirmed that the health ministry is closely following the epidemiological update of all respiratory viruses in the country and that it is taking all precautionary measures against the COVID-19 disease.
The health ministry uses a strong surveillance system that continuously examines the genetic sequence of COVID-19 samples in public health labs to detect and follow up on new variants, he said.
The ministry is also monitoring cases of acute respiratory diseases in outpatient clinics and hospitals.
Abdel Ghaffar indicated that since the World Health Organization declared the end of the health emergency for COVID-19 on 5 May 2023, the virus has become endemic in all countries of the world and is treated like other acute respiratory diseases.
He added that the current dominant mutant in the world is the Omicron mutant, which is rapidly spreading, but it is less severe and less dangerous than other mutants.
New subvariants of Omicron are being discovered but the cases are simple and not at all severe, the spokesman affirmed.
Jihan Al-Assal, Professor of Chest Diseases at Ain Shams University, told Asharq Al-Awsat that regardless of how many new variants of COVID-19 emerge, the epidemiological situation wouldn’t be more dangerous than the time when the pandemic broke out.
Al-Assal reassured that the coronavirus has become a seasonal disease such as influenza and confronting it is now easier. “All new variants are weaker than the original virus.”
Johns Hopkins University of Medicine revealed in a report in January that COVID-19 deaths reached an estimated 6,690,581 by January. The total number of patients amounted to 660,543,327.
The report added that the US recorded the highest number of cases, 100.7 million, while India came second, 44.6 million, and Brazil third, 36.3 million.