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No more new COVID-19 cases in Egypt after July 16, minister predicts

22 May 2020
In this file photo taken on March 8, 2020, Egyptians bound for GCC countries gather in front of the Central Public Health Laboratories in downtown Cairo as they wait to get tested for COVID-19 coronavirus disease. (AFP / Khaled Desouki)
In this file photo taken on March 8, 2020, Egyptians bound for GCC countries gather in front of the Central Public Health Laboratories in downtown Cairo as they wait to get tested for COVID-19 coronavirus disease. (AFP / Khaled Desouki)
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Updated 22 May 2020
22 May 2020

Salma Ahmed

CAIRO: Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar said on Thursday that he did not expect any new cases of COVID-19 to be reported in the country after July 16. 

“The number of cases reported reached over 14,000 as of yesterday (May 20),” Abdel-Ghaffar said. “By the end of the crisis we will reach 37,000, which will probably happen by July 16. These numbers are subject to change but these are our expectations as of now.” 

Abdel-Ghaffar was speaking at the opening ceremony of the third phase of a national housing project in Alexandria, also attended by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. 

The Egyptian Ministry of Health announced that, as of May 20, there have been 14,229 COVID-19 cases in the country, of which 3,994 have recovered and been released from quarantine hospitals, while 680 have died. 

Abdel-Ghaffar said the average daily increase of cases being reported is “normal” and should not cause concern. He claimed that an average of 500 to 1,000 new cases per day is considered normal. 

“We are yet to hear about our daily average (of reported cases) reaching 15,000, 20,000 or 30,000,” he said, adding that the number of cases is not as important as the percentage increase. 

The minister predicted that by May 28 the total number of COVID-19 cases reported in the country would likely be somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000. 

He said that he was not worried by the increase in cases between March 30 and April 15, as it had changed from 8 percent to 10 percent. The increase between April 15 and May 20 had been between 5 and 5.6 percent, he said, again stating that such an increase was not a cause for concern.

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