Egypt is still in the clear with no patient zero just yet
The Health Ministry is denying claims that the newly-discovered Omicron covid variant has entered Egypt. Claims that the variant entered the country via an Ethiopian flight are untrue, Health Ministry spokesperson Hossam Abdel Ghaffar told Kelma Akhira last night (watch, runtime: 3:05).
Still, it’s only a matter of time before it gets here, he said, adding that precautions being taken are to limit its spread and delay its entrance into the country.
Omicron isn’t a reason not to take the vaccine: The ministry is downplaying fears that Omicron could sidestep today’s covid-19 vaccines. Abdel Ghaffar said in a separate interview on Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 9:41) that while the mutations could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines against Omicron, it won’t render them useless against the virus. He repeated the state’s call for folks to continue to signing up for the jabs.
The Health Ministry reported 911 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 951 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 357,629 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 65 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 20,142.