On 14 February 2020, Egypt reported the first case of COVID-19 to WHO. Since then, the <a href="http:\/\/www.mohp.gov.eg\/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ministry of Health and Population<\/a> has been very busy responding to the situation, including the investigation of a number of chains of infections in Aswan in Luqsor.\r\n\r\nEnd of March, the Ministry asked <a href="https:\/\/see.news\/who-22-countries-reporting-confirmrd-covid-19-cases\/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">WHO<\/a> to conduct an independent review of the situation in order to make suggestions for a better response. From 23 to 25 March last week, I led a WHO team that worked in the field and with the health officials in Cairo and in Alexandria. I would like to share today our findings, along with some recommendations.\r\n\r\nAs of 29 March 2020, Egypt had reported 609 cases of COVID-19. The response to COVID-19 has been strong\r\nand adapted to the current situation.\r\n\r\nThe number of new cases over time suggests that transmission is limited to chains of infections and we have not seen a steep rise in the number of cases. There are a number of strong points in the response for which we congratulated the Ministry.\r\n\r\nFirst, the overall management is well organized, including an Emergency Operation Centre coordinating the response on the basis of the latest epidemiological information and a call center in touch with the public.\r\n\r\nSecond, rapid response teams are conducting careful investigations of cases and their contacts. And this is very important because it breaks the chains of transmission.\r\n\r\nThird, there is a capacity to test patients in a reliable way in more than 20 sites in the country.\r\n\r\nFourth, there is a plan to provide care to patients. Finally, a lot of different media are used to provide the public with updates, education, and information.\r\n\r\nWhen we debriefed her excellency the Ministry, we discussed openly and came to an agreement with her\r\nand her team with respect to the directions to take in the coming days.\r\n\r\nWe agreed that we need to continue to act for the best scenario. This means continuing to search for cases everywhere. We must test persons with cough and fever, and when we come across cases, we need to provide care and isolation.\r\n\r\nWe also need to trace contacts. We must do that everywhere and without giving up, even if the numbers increase.\r\n\r\nBy doing so, we have a real opportunity to stop transmission. Unfortunately, there is also a scenario by which\r\ntransmission could expand leading to a large number of cases in the country. While we are doing everything\r\nto avoid that, we also need to be prepared for that possibility.\r\n\r\nThat means planning for more isolation facilities for mild cases, more hospital beds for severe cases, and more intensive care beds for critical patients.\r\n\r\nAnd all of this needs to be done with strong infection control measures for families, clinics, isolation facilities, and hospitals.\r\n\r\nNow today I also have a message for all the persons living in Egypt, whether Egyptian or like me foreign\r\nresidents. Collectively, we have must work together to stop this outbreak, and we all have our role.\r\n\r\nSo, along with the colleagues of the Ministry of Health and Population, we would like to count on you for three things. First, protect yourself and your family.\r\n\r\nWash your hands, abstain to touch your nose, your mouth and your eyes, and in these difficult times, you want to be close to people in your hearts, but far away with your hands.\r\n\r\nSecond, inform yourself with reliable information. Prefer sources like the WHO or the Ministry of Health and Population.\r\n\r\nDo not listen to self-proclaimed experts who share random information on social media. Third, help us in the task of finding all cases. So if you or your loved one develop fever and cough, please call 105 to seek care. Thank you very much for your help in this.\r\n\r\nTogether with you, all health care workers, the Ministry of Health and Population and WHO, we can defeat this in Egypt.