Egypt slams Guardian report claiming the number of coronavirus cases surpasses 19,000

Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population has slammed a report by the Guardian claiming that the number of coronavirus cases in Egypt is far higher than the official figures.

Health Ministry Spokesperson Khaled Megahed stressed that the ministry immediately announces any new cases and is fully transparent regarding the number of cases, in accordance with international health regulations and in full cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Megahed criticized the report for using speculation from a researcher in infectious diseases at a Canadian university, which estimated that the true number of infected people in Egypt could be as high as 19,310.

The WHO is the official body entrusted with following up the epidemiological situation of the novel coronavirus worldwide, he said, adding that the WHO office in Egypt follows updated data with the ministry on a daily basis.

Megahed said that the WHO supervises the ministry’s preventive measures.

The Ministry of Health works according to the precautionary and preventive plan placed under the WHO’s supervision, he said, and assured that there are no other cases of coronavirus other than what has been officially announced.

The WHO’s Representative in Egypt, John Jabbour, praised Egypt’s transparency and the precautionary measures taken regarding the virus, adding that Egypt and Oman are the only two countries in the region that relied on a strong monitoring and surveillance system, according to Megahed.

The latest deaths include a 72-year-old German national who passed away in Luxor Governorate and a 50-year-old Egyptian man from Daqahlia Governorate, who had been in contact with an Egyptian woman who died from the virus in Daqahlia, Megahed added.

Two other deaths from COVID-19 had been reported previously in Egypt — one a 60-year-old German tourist who tested positive in Hurghada after having traveled in Luxor and the other a 60-year-old woman from Daqahlia, reported on March 8 and March 12 respectively.

Three family members of the late Egyptian man from Dakahlia were among the 40 new cases that tested positive for the virus, he continued.


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