The COVID-19 pandemic in Egypt is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have reached Egypt on 14 February 2020.
The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003, but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll. Model-based simulations for Egypt indicate that the 95% confidence interval for the time-varying reproduction number R t exceeds 1.
In late February and early March, multiple foreign severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cases associated with travel to Egypt were reported – including two cases in the United States, two cases in Tunisia (Plus several potential cases as the two initial cases were part of 1,000 now quarantined football supporters who visited Egypt from Tunis from 27 February to 1 March) two cases in France, one case in Canada, and one case in Taiwan.
On 2 March, Kuwait announced that it would test all arrivals from Egypt and Syria for SARS-CoV-2. It was estimated by Egypt Watch that Egypt had 20 lab-confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2, which was reported by Middle East Monitor on 2 March. The people with confirmed cases were claimed to be held in military hospitals, inaccessible to the Egyptian Ministry of Health and official health statistics reported to WHO.
The Ministry of Health in Egypt announced a new death and 46 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of infected to 256 cases, including 7 deaths and recovering 28 of those infected. The Egyptian government also made a decision to close all restaurants, cafes, nightclubs and public places throughout the country from seven in the evening until six in the morning, starting from Thursday 19 to 31 March 2020.
A decision was made to suspend prayers in all of Egypt’s mosques for a period of two weeks in order to limit the outbreak of the coronavirus based on the necessity of the legitimate and national interest. The Coptic Orthodox Church also announced the closure of all churches and the suspension of ritual services, masses and activities to preserve the health of Egyptians from the danger of the spread of the coronavirus.
The adviser of the Minister of Health and Population for Media Affairs and the official spokesperson of the ministry revealed that 15 of these cases had been left the Isolation Hospital, including 7 foreigners and 8 Egyptians, after receiving the necessary medical care under supervision of World Health Organization. So the number of those who recovered from the virus became 56 out of 74 cases.
In May there were 19448 additional cases, raising the total number of reported cases to 24985. The reported death toll more than doubled to 959. The number of recovered patients increased to 6037, leaving 17989 active cases at the end of the month. There were 25767 reported cases in July, bringing the total number of cases to 94078. The reported death toll rose to 4805. The number of recovered patients grew to 39638, leaving 49635 active cases at the end of the month (6% more than at the end of June).
On 7 March, health authorities announced that 45 people on board had tested positive and that the ship had been placed in quarantine at a dock in Luxor. On 9 March, the first international case from the cruise ship came after an American went home and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. In addition to the confirmed cases within Egypt, there have been a number of documented cases that were detected in other countries and traced to travel from Egypt. The estimate of such cases was at least 97 cases at the end of February 2020, according to public health data and news reports.
The minister of aviation closed the airports and suspended all air travel, effective 19 March. The decision to suspend flights in Egypt came into effect from 19 March until 31 March. Foreign media outlets have reported that certain individuals have been arrested for allegedly spreading false information about the coronavirus pandemic.