Gaye YE, Agbajogu C, El Oakley R.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Feb 8;18(4):1588. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18041588.
As the world fights the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that over 17 million people globally were infected with SARS-CoV-2 as of 1 August 2020. Although infections are asymptomatic in 80% of cases, severe respiratory illness occurs in 20% of cases, requiring hospitalization and highly specialized intensive care. The WHO, under the International Health Regulations, declared this pandemic a public health emergency of international concern; it has affected nearly all health systems worldwide. The health system in Egypt, similar to many others, was severely challenged when confronted with the need for urgent and major expansion required to manage such a significant pandemic. This review uses publicly available data to provide an epidemiological summary of the COVID-19 pandemic behavior during the first wave of the outbreak in Egypt. The article covers mathematical modeling predictions, Egypt’s healthcare system, economic and social impacts of COVID-19, as well as national responses that were crucial to the initial containment of the pandemic. We observed how the government managed the outbreak by enhancing testing capacity, contact tracing, announcing public health and social measures (PHSMs), as well as allocating extra funds and human resources to contain SARS-COV-2. Prospectively, economic losses from major sources of revenues-tourism, travel, and trade-may be reflected in future timelines, as Egypt continues to control cases and loss of life from COVID-19. Overall, trends indicate that the spread of COVID-19 in Egypt was initially contained. Revalidation of prediction models and follow-up studies may reveal the aftermath of the pandemic and how well it was managed in Egypt.