According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health, a 60-year-old Egyptian woman became the second person to succumb to coronavirus (COVID-19).
The elderly woman, from Dakhalia governorate, was admitted to Al Mansoura Sudr hospital where she tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday. She was immediately taken to quarantine although she succumbed due to health complications, namely acute pneumonia, making her the first Egyptian death in the country.
Earlier this week, a German tourist died from the disease in Hurghada. He tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday at the Hurghada General Hospital and was then placed in intensive care.
The patient was suffering from respiratory failure caused by acute pneumonia.
So far, 80 people have been afflicted by the deadly virus, as per the Ministry’s spokesperson Khaled Mujahid. However, 20 of those have recovered and have been discharged from quarantine.
Since news of the outbreak spread worldwide, the Egyptian authorities have reiterated measures to monitor and prevent the spread of the virus in the country.
A hotline, 105, has been created to receive citizens’ inquiries regarding the virus as well as report potential acquisition.
Egypt’s Ministry of Health has also increased its social media activities, sharing tips and updates on afflicted patients in Egypt.
One school in Cairo has been closed down for two weeks, as its students may have been in contact with patients with coronavirus according to a joint decision by the Ministries of Health and Education.
Moreover, the government also suspended large gathering events such as religious festivals, concerts, exhibitions, and called in schools to suspend activities like sports and music events.
Conferences, arts and culture activities by the Opera and festivals have been gradually canceling as news of the outbreak gains more momentum.
Many Egyptians have opted to wear medical masks in the streets and in the metro; the latter has been equipped with posters on COVID-19, and medical advice and tips have been reverberating in all stations’ sound system on loop.
CORONAVIRUS DECLARED ‘PANDEMIC’
The viral disease that has swept at least 114 countries worldwide and killed more than 4,000 people is now officially a pandemic, the World Health Organization declared on Wednesday.
“In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths and the number of affected countries climb even higher,” WHO Director-General Tedros declared at a briefing in Geneva, “We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.”
By declaring the coronavirus a pandemic, this makes it the first time the WHO has called an outbreak a pandemic since the H1N1 “swine flu” in 2009, and puts the coronavirus in a different category than the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Zika virus outbreak in 2016.