Corona virus: Why are some in Egypt negligent with precautionary measures to confront Covid-19?

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AFP

Many wonder why some citizens in Egypt are negligent in dealing with the Corona virus, despite repeated pleas by the Ministry of Health to adhere to preventive measures to protect against infection.

From the point of view of some, this may be attributed to the decline in the number of HIV infections in the past weeks, or to the reopening of some public facilities and services before the infections completely ended, or to other psychological and social factors due to the length of the general or partial closure.

There has been a significant increase in the number of cases and deaths due to Covid-19 disease in the past two days, after recent weeks have witnessed a decline in those numbers.

Abu Bakr Hashem, an Egyptian employee, told the BBC: “I am surprised when I feel as if I am the only one who is still adhering to preventive measures against the Coronavirus in public places.”

He adds: “I enter the taxi every day wearing a muzzle to prevent the Corona virus, but I am surprised when I see the passengers not wearing masks, including the driver. This did not occupy me much, but I feel as if the epidemic has completely disappeared in Egypt.”

The rate of spread of the Corona virus had recorded a remarkable gradual decrease in Egypt during the past weeks, until the number of daily cases reached levels of less than a hundred cases a few days ago, after it had reached more than a thousand cases in many days. And this may be what prompted some to abandon the precautionary measures that are supposed to be followed to prevent the virus.

Yousra Samir, a housewife, told the BBC: “Of course, there is complacency, not only by citizens and only in open public places. There are government institutions in which the employees themselves do not wear masks and do not apply any precautionary measures.”

And she adds: “I recently stayed in the northern coast, and there I discovered a complete absence of all precautionary measures against the Corona virus to the point that I felt that there was no danger, no virus, or epidemic.”

‘Contradictory messages’

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Many people notice that the number of people wearing masks in public places in Egypt has decreased in the recent period

Muhammad al-Mahdi, a professor of psychiatry at Al-Azhar University, told the BBC: “There is a group of people, not small, who have a state of denial, denying the existence of danger. And these are based on the fact that many cases were among those who followed the precautionary measures, and some of them passed away. While not many who do not adhere to it are not infected, and these pose a great risk and contribute to a large extent in the transmission of infection. ”

“There were official indications that the risk had receded, especially after Friday prayers were allowed, commercial markets and clubs opened, and the numbers of new cases and deaths declined. All this sent people a message indicating that the risk had receded,” Al-Mahdi added.

However, Al-Mahdi indicated that there is another message that people receive from the ground indicating that the danger still exists and that there are cases of infection and deaths that continue to emerge. Therefore, the public receives the two messages and prefers to believe the first message indicating that “the danger has passed.”

Citizen Nevin Sharaf says: “Life has completely returned to normal, and the period of commitment to preventive measures was perhaps only two or three weeks. I see that the procedures have completely disappeared in many cafes, restaurants and sports clubs.”

She added: “During that short period, precautionary measures were applied in public places, so restaurants and cafes were operating at about 25 or 50 percent of their capacity, and clubs would divide sports teams into two halves, training one after the other, and security officials in commercial centers empty any tables that sit. There are four people on it, but I see that all of that disappeared as if the virus had also disappeared. “

“from another planet”

Abdel-Rahman Zaki, an employee in a government agency, told the BBC: “I live in Cairo, and I have a feeling that there is no Corona infection when I am in public places because I see the behavior of the people around me. The matter is not limited to Cairo, as I traveled with my wife in The last period to several cities such as Alexandria, Port Said, the northern coast, and Suez, and there also witnessed a complete absence of precautionary measures. ”

“My wife and I wear masks in public places, and we used to wear them during these entertainment tours in the provinces, and people used to look at us with amazement, in a way that makes me feel that I am from another planet,” Zaki added.

He continued, “There are no precautionary measures, greetings and hugs, and there is no separation at all. In the hotel I stayed in on the northern coast, only work crews wore masks, but the inmates did not wear them.”

Al-Mahdi warns that in the coming period people will “cling to their right to a normal life, and they will close their ears to any new warnings, which poses a danger to their lack of willingness to abide by the instructions and orders.” A state of indifference and indifference to the danger may spread in the current period, which leads to Wider spread of infection. ”

Image source
Reuters

However, Kamal Abu Saada, a mental health consultant, believes that there is “an absence of a sense of responsibility among many groups in Egyptian society.”

Abu Saada told the BBC: “An irresponsible or reckless person does not accept the idea of ​​adhering to any instructions or orders, no matter how important this is.”

Abu Saada adds: “Lack of awareness and poverty may lead to non-compliance with preventive measures. For those who take to the streets to earn a living, no one or instructions can prevent them from doing so.”

Formal concern

A few days ago, the Council of Ministers called on citizens “the necessity to adhere to following preventive measures to confront the emerging corona virus,” stressing the invalidity of reports that the government stopped imposing the application of precautionary measures.

The Media Center of the Council of Ministers, in its report clarifying the facts and responding to the rumors issued on August 14, said that the rumors of canceling the “precautionary measures” on some websites and social media pages “are completely untrue.”

He indicated that the government will discuss any necessary measures to confront the spread of the virus, and measures to “coexist” with it, stressing the commitment of all concerned parties to implement the decisions issued by the committee, while applying financial fines to violators.

Hala Zayed, the Egyptian Minister of Health, held citizens responsible for any new escalation in the rate of infection, saying that “the occurrence of a second wave is necessarily linked to a false sense of safety among people that the epidemic has ended, and thus leads them to lax in adhering to the precautionary measures and adhering to the wearing of masks and achieving social distancing.” “.

Some are concerned about the high daily rate of infections again, amid criticism of the policy of reopening more facilities, entertainment places and parks, in light of warnings of the coming of a second wave of the virus.

On Thursday, August 28, the number of new cases officially registered in Egypt reached 237 cases, and 25 deaths, indicating a significant increase in the rates compared to the past few weeks.

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