Egypt’s imports of medicine, and surgical instruments and devices, have decreased 20.3% during the first four months of 2020 to record $802.7m, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
The decrease compares to the $1bn reported during the same period of last year, with CAPMAS attributing this decline to the repercussions of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The agency noted that China, as the foremost supplier of raw materials for pharmaceuticals, was particularly hard hit, alongside other countries in East Asia and Europe.
The global decline in imports and supply chain hiccups have ensured that countries are now taking alternative precautionary measures, whilst working to preserve products for local consumption.
The agency added that Egypt’s imports of medicines and pharmaceutical preparations decreased by 22.3% to $694.7m during the first four months of 2020, compared to $893.7m during the same period of 2019.
In April 2020, imports of medicines and pharmaceutical preparations dropped by 10.4% to record $198.9m, compared to $222m during April 2019.
Also, imports of medicines and surgical products amounted to $217.5m in April 2020, compared to $251.9m in April 2019, a decrease of 13.6%, CAPMAS said.
Egypt received 15.4% of its pharmaceutical product imports from Germany totalling $107.3m, during the period from January to April 2020. This compared to the $126m reported in the same period of 2019, signifying a drop of 14.9%.
Additionally, Egypt’s imports of medical and surgical instruments and devices decreased by 5.3% during the first four months of 2020 to record $108m, compared to $114m during the same period of 2019. It decreased during April by 37.5%, to register $18.7m, compared to $30m during the same month in 2019.