“The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection is not airborne, but it is, instead, transmitted through droplets,” said Dr Hossam Hosni, Chairperson of the Scientific Committee for Combating Coronavirus.
Hosni added that these droplets include tiny particles of saliva which spray from the mouth when people speak.
On Sunday, the Ministry of Health reported 912 new coronavirus cases and 89 new fatalities. The country’s total number of confirmed cases has now reached 82,070, with 3,858 fatalities. A total of 24,419 cases have recovered and been discharged from quarantine facilities at hospitals.
The Egyptian health official’s comments contradict a recent World Health Organization (WHO) announcement that the coronavirus could be an airborne infection. Responding to the international organisation’s declaration, Hosni stated that it is floundering and in a state of “confusion”.
Hosni added in televised statements, on Saturday evening, that current evidence shows the infection is not airborne, adding, “If it transmits through the air, millions of people would have been infected worldwide.
He noted that Egypt is succeeding in combating the pandemic, but hast yet to eliminate it completely.
Dr Sherif Wadiea, Advisor to the Minister of Health for Emergency and Urgent Care, said Egypt is among the top 10 countries worldwide with the lowest coronavirus infection rate.
Wadiea explained that this does not mean that Egypt has passed the peak point of infection, but that the country’s low infection rate is a promising indicator for curbing the curve of infection.
According to the health official, Egypt is one of the few countries to have provided diagnostic testing, treatment and infection control free of charge to most citizens.
“It is too early to speak about a decline in infection rate, unless this decline continues for a period of not less than 15 days,” Wadiea said. “The number of cases in Egypt began to decline five days ago.”
He further added that the number of urgent care beds has increased to 5,500 across the country, and had a 75% occupancy rate during the health crisis. Of that number, only 22% of patients needed ventilators.