The Egyptian government has encouraged women to delay their pregnancies due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Egypt’s Ministry of Health issued the statement yesterday calling on women to avoid getting pregnant as it may weaken their immune system. Adding that new discoveries have been made which link the coronavirus to blood clots which could affect the placenta and the nutrition of the foetus.
“Use of contraceptives can be used to temporarily prevent pregnancy,” the statement advised, recommending methods which are easy to access and affordable.
Critics have said such a warning should have been issued earlier and the government has, once again, been slow to issue guidance.
Egypt has repeatedly come under criticism for its handling of the crisis and its slow efforts to curb the virus’ spread.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has been criticised for investing money and efforts in the new administrative capital currently being constructed along the Red Sea rather than channelling resources to hospitals and health facilities. Meanwhile, a shortage of hospital beds in the country has been reported, forcing some to close under the strain of the pandemic.
The medical union warned that the healthcare system in the country is close to collapse and asked authorities to step up measures to protect their doctors.
Moreover, those who have dared to criticise the government over its handling of the crisis have been arrested and disappeared.
The Egyptian authorities’ warning for women to avoid pregnancy during this crisis comes shortly after the number of confirmed cases within the country reached over 50,000 this month, with over 2,800 deaths caused by the respiratory virus. Officials believe the real number of infections is seven times higher than that announced amid feature of a government coverup.