The Impact of Egypt’s Non-Pandemic State on Society-to-Society Relations

Mona Ali, Cairo University

Despite the Egyptian government’s adoption of strict preventive measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, it appears that Egyptian society returned to normal life some time ago. The majority of citizens have abandoned precautionary measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, and restricting movement indoors. The follow-up of treatment protocols for people infected with the coronavirus reveals a key peculiarity in Egyptian society, with the infection treated as something normal in the absence of follow-up/monitoring mechanisms. As such, patients go about their daily lives and even obtain medicine without medical supervision, resorting to various treatment protocols that are widely circulated on social media. Amid forecasts that the pandemic will continue throughout the world for an unknown period of time due to the spread of viral mutations, this peculiarity of Egyptian society could affect its relationships with other societies, especially with regard to travel, tourism, event participation, investment, migrant labor, and the movement of Egyptian expatriates living abroad.

This paper attempts to answer the following questions: What are the expected impacts of Egypt’s non-pandemic state on its societal relations with other world communities? Could this situation affect society-to-society interactions in the future? This paper relies on a content analysis of the media to understand the features of the state of non-pandemic in Egypt. It will also use this analysis to monitor the reactions of tourists, visitors, and representatives of other societies interacting with Egypt and their views of Egyptian society’s particular handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dimensions of Egypt’s non-pandemic state

At the official level, the coronavirus preventive measures taken by the Egyptian government did not differ from those of their counterparts in various countries of the world. At the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, Egypt adopted a series of escalating preventive measures that corresponded to the increasing number of cases. With successive waves of infections and increasing deaths, Egypt strengthened preventive measures, such as imposing a quarantine on those infected and stressing the use of masks in crowded areas and social distancing indoors. Egypt was also among the first developing countries on the African continent to obtain the vaccine through the first shipments of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine from the UAE in December 2020.[1]

Official statistics for case and death rates show that Egypt is not among the countries with a high rate of cases per total population.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of infections in Egypt as of 3 June 2022 was estimated at 513,944 cases out of a total of 528,816,317 cases worldwide, while the number of deaths was estimated at about 24,718 cases out of a total of 6,294,969 deaths worldwide.[2] These numbers remain less than the actual estimates of the number of cases and deaths, whether in Egypt or globally, according to the WHO itself. The WHO indicated that the number of deaths between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 31 2021 may range from 13.3 million to 16.6 million.[3] According to a draft paper issued in the first year of the pandemic by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, the infection rate is 12 times higher than the stated numbers, and deaths are 50% higher than the official figures.[4] The inaccuracy of these numbers is due to the fragility of health information systems in many countries of the world, as well as some countries inability to conduct reliable mortality surveillance.

With regard to the distribution of vaccines, statistics indicate that Egypt has been able to achieve a modest vaccination rate relative to world standards. More than 76.5 million total doses have been distributed, and more than 31.3 million people—or 30.5% of the total population—have received full doses of the vaccine.[5] With government authorities making vaccination a condition for entering government facilities, it is likely that the vaccination rate will gradually increase.

By contrast, society’s response to the pandemic appears to differ greatly from its official counterpart to the degree that the coronavirus outbreak is considered a normal event that can be lived with, compared to the preventive measures followed in other societies. Despite the Egyptian government’s imposition of a mask mandate and fines for not wearing them in some facilities, such as public transportation and government institutions,[6] warnings were repeated in Egyptian media about people renting masks for a small fee for the purpose of passing the security inspection to enter banks or government institutions.[7]

In contrast to what Abedini’s paper reveals about the increasing political polarization between the fundamentalist traditionalists and the moderate modernists in Iran, divisions in Egypt were not political as much as societal. The ability to access medicine, health care, and coronavirus tests varied based on one’s membership in certain key elite and professional groups, or on one’s financial ability to pay large sums to obtain the necessary medical care. This was especially the case during the early stages of the pandemic, before the beginning of the state of full coexistence with and handling of the pandemic as a normal health symptom.

With regard to the PCR test requirement for travel abroad, forgery of test certificates[8] is active.[9] In addition, Egyptian security forces have repeatedly closed branches of test laboratories because of falsification of test results in order to facilitate travel abroad,[10] including the branches of one of the largest laboratories in Egypt, Al Mokhtabar.[11] This has prompted some airlines to establish a list of certified laboratories with more reliable results in order to avoid repeated forgery. In December of 2021, the spread of fake coronavirus vaccination certificates led acting Egyptian Minister of Health Khaled Abdel Ghaffar to stress that this is a felony punishable by three to ten years’ imprisonment and a fine, due to its severe harm to society.[12]

Egypt’s non-pandemic state is inseparable from the spread of popular medicine to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Numerous treatment protocols for coronavirus infection have spread on social media and have become an alternative to going to hospitals and health institutions, especially during periods of outbreak. This is related to repeated changes to the Egyptian Ministry of Health’s certified treatment protocol, which has undergone seven consecutive modifications.[13]

The improvisation of coronavirus treatment has extended to Egyptian doctors themselves, with many of them emphasizing that a CT scan is more accurate than PCR analysis in diagnosing coronavirus cases. This leads to inaccurate case statistics, which depend on monitoring cases via PCR analysis. For example, a professor and head of the pulmonary and allergy department at Al-Azhar Faculty of Medicine claimed that the most accurate test is a CT scan and a complete blood picture rather than PCR testing because the latter is not accurate and does not reflect the patient’s actual condition.[14] Other doctors have also confirmed this.[15]

Improvisation also leads to the use of unapproved medicine and drugs for the treatment of coronavirus. A well-known doctor—who treated the Egyptian media icon Wael al-Ibrashi—used Sovaldi, which is known for its use in treating hepatitis C infection. Sources also reported that the same doctor used the same treatment for Egyptian celebrities with the coronavirus.[16]

The gap between official guidelines and the opinions of Egyptian society vis-à-vis the pandemic has caused the spread of religious superstitions. In March of 2020, some media observed the presence of common myths on social media for the treatment of coronavirus by using a “hair in the Quran in Surah al-Baqarah, placing it in water, and drinking it.” Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah warned against this and called on people to follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health and disregard superstitions. The first phases of the coronavirus outbreak in 2020 saw the organization of a night march in the streets of Alexandria to pray for the lifting of the pandemic despite warnings to practice social distancing. These gatherings served to spread the infection.[17]

The state of non-pandemic and the divide between society and the state has led to Egypt’s situation remaining consistent with regards to the democratic backsliding discussed in Abouzohhour’s paper. The pandemic did not change the rules of the game much domestically, nor did it lead to changes in state mechanisms to deal with opponents. In fact, Egypt ended the state of emergency in October 2021 during the coronavirus pandemic, for the first time in many years. Perhaps the most important changes following the lifting of the state of emergency were the elimination of all extraordinary proceedings before emergency state security courts and the return of normal trials in accordance with current criminal procedures and penal codes.[18] Analysts and observers are also aware of Egypt’s unique situation, in which the army has always been the primary savior during crises. However, during this pandemic, matters were left in the hands of the prime minister, relevant government ministers, and professional public health experts. As Yezid Sayigh notes, “The newfound readiness of the armed forces to take a back seat to civilians is no less welcome for being exceptional.”[19] This pandemic has revealed more of an overall state of health exposure in Egypt, and the state of non-pandemic reveals the desire to quickly emerge from the pandemic and return to normal life. It also demonstrated society’s ability to impose its own way of dealing with the pandemic despite strict government procedures, at least in the most severe phases of viral outbreak.

Transnational societal interactions

Egyptian society’s peculiarity in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak and the popular culture of non-pandemic in Egypt has had an impact on transnational societal interactions between Egypt and other countries. With the change in transnational interactions and the restrictions placed on travel, tourism, the organization of international events, and the movement of migrant workers, there may have been an effect on the relative gap between awareness of the general attitude toward the pandemic in Egyptian society and its counterparts in other countries that have closer interactions with Egypt, such as the European and Arab Gulf countries.

FIGURE ONE: Tourism, 2010-2020

Source: “Tourists Distribution, By Country Groups (No. & Percentage),” Statistical Yearbook: Tourism, Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, Last Updated: December 2021, p.6:; “Tourism 2021,” Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, Last Updated: March 2022, p.1:

Figure One shows the extent of the pandemic’s effect on tourism in Egypt, with a decline in the total number of tourists to 3.5 million—the lowest level for Egypt in a decade. Official public figures on the number of tourists who visited Egypt in 2021 are not available. However, data from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities showed that the number of tourists to Egypt in the first half of 2021 totaled 3.5 million, approximately the same number recorded in all of 2020.[20]  This suggests that the impact on the tourism sector was relatively short-lived. However, the repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war are expected to affect this recovery.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic goes beyond the decline in tourism. It includes prior mental images among those coming to Egypt amid threats to health security during the pandemic, especially during events organized inside Egypt, such as the Handball World Championship. This reflects on Egypt’s soft power as a tourist destination and global center for organizing low-cost international events. As a result, this also prompted some media outlets to monitor health conditions in Egypt and its level of adherence to preventive measures, as well as to assess the Egyptian government’s ability to contain the pandemic.

Why did tourism and other external engagement with Egypt rebound so quickly? Perhaps because of media coverage which projected certain images of Egypt as a destination. In order to analyze these trends, this paper relies on a qualitative content analysis of a sample of articles published in other countries concerning the state of the coronavirus outbreak in Egypt. The sample was chosen based on the World Tourism Organization’s classification of the 10 countries with the most tourists to Egypt during 2019, respectively: Germany, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, France, China, and Austria.[21]

Two of the most visited news sites in each country, according to Alexa and SimilarWeb statistics, were chosen for a content analysis of their articles. For accuracy, translation was used for articles in languages unknown to the researcher, and machine translation was used on limited occasions. The period was specified beginning from February 14, 2020—the date of the first official announcement of a coronavirus case in Egypt—until March of 2022. [22]

Based on these criteria, the following websites were chosen: Bild newspaper and T-Online in Germany; and in Ukraine; El-Watan and Okaz in Saudi Arabia; BBC and The Guardian in the UK; Repubblica and Corriere della Sera in Italy; Wirtualna Polska and in Poland; and in the Czech Republic; Le Figaro and Le Monde in France; Phoenix Chinese News and Sina News in China; and Kronen Zeitung and Heute in Austria.

In the beginning, clear trends toward ignoring the coronavirus pandemic can be observed in the coverage of many of the newspapers and news sites of the aforementioned countries noted for their societal interactions with Egypt and their travel and tourism flows. This sometimes coincided with other reports warning of health issues. Germany’s Bild site, in reports published in November of 2021, noted a 102% increase in flights between Egypt and Germany in October and November and high demand for tourism in Egypt, which the site ranked among the destinations worthy of attention.[23] Likewise, the site observed “the strong return of Egypt as a tourist destination for German tourists,” especially for tourist destinations on the Red Sea, as well as the approaching centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 2022.[24]Germany’s T-Online website also published a report in December 2021 stating that Egypt remains a preferred destination for Germans despite the risks of the coronavirus because of cheap tourist flights and accommodations.[25]

On the Polish website, positive coverage of Egypt as a tourist destination dominated during the last months of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. These reports categorized Egypt as “a warm, cheap tourist destination preferred by Poles”[26] and a “dream vacation” country[27] with “natural desert scenery, antiquities, and the magic of the underwater world,” with repeated descriptions of “sunny Egypt”[28] as the basis for the Polish Chamber of Tourism’s classification of Egypt as a preferred destination for Polish trips abroad.[29]

In a report published in July of 2021, describes Egypt as “paradise” for tourists, going on to describe Egypt’s tourist attractions, such as its nature, antiquities, history, and beaches, and focusing on the cities of Luxor, Marsa Alam, and Sharm el-Sheikh.[30] Two reports promoting tourism in Egypt were published in Le Figaro. The first, published in April 2020, at the onset of the pandemic, was on food tourism and popular life in Cairo,[31] while the second, published in January 2022, placed Egypt among 12 tourist destinations to be rediscovered in 2022, focusing on antiquities and the Red Sea as two tourist attractions, while completely disregarding the coronavirus pandemic.[32]

Not all European media painted such a positive picture, however. The German newspaper, Bild, published a report on November 27, 2021, classifying Egypt among the countries in which tourists’ holidays are at risk, based on the German Foreign Ministry’s warnings against non-essential tourist trips and its classification of Egypt as a high-risk area vis-à-vis the outbreak of the pandemic, emphasizing that this applies to the Red Sea area, a preferred German tourist destination.[33] In August 2021, the German T-Online site reiterated the same classification, again based on the German Foreign Ministry. The report also contained a warning that Egyptian government hospitals are “far below German standards” and one may also face high costs for hospitalization and treatment.[34]

Tracking these media reveals agreement among a large number of European media regarding the low levels of application of preventive measures in Egypt and the warning of high possibilities of infection. These warnings reached their full extent when the Czech ambassador in Cairo warned in statements published on the site, in March 2021, of his experience of the coronavirus infection during his travels in Egypt, stressing that he would not wish his coronavirus experience in Egypt on anyone.[35]

In January 2021, Egypt’s hosting of the Handball World Cup focused particular attention on the COVID situation.  There were repeated warnings of the risks from the participating delegations, especially Germany. In successive coverage on the German news site, there were warnings about the health situation in Egypt, particularly after the discovery of infections among players from other teams participating in the World Cup held in Egypt. The match between the Cape Verde team and Germany was cancelled following the discovery of infections on the Cape Verde team.[36] Some German coaches commented prior to the start of the tournament on January 4, 2021, that “organizing handball matches in Egypt is crazy… the organizers are not interested in real hygiene.”[37] The commenter held German officials politically and legally responsible in the event of a disaster. The observations noted by German media outlets during the tournament included the hotel staff’s total lack of compliance with proper masking[38] and social distancing, especially in the restaurant, with the website showing a picture of players from Egypt, Sweden, and Denmark lining up in a narrow space during the breakfast buffet.[39]

On another level, the policy adopted by the European states of safety corridors for travel and tourism received harsh criticism for being ineffective in preventing the spread of the virus. In articles published in January of 2022, the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, quoted some tourists as saying that the anti-coronavirus regulations are neither adhered to nor effective.[40] According to a report published on January 7, 2022, “The distancing is unsafe, and there is close contact with tourists from countries at risk of infection, such as Russia and Ukraine…In the restaurant, the employees do not wear gloves, and masks are often worn incorrectly. People are allowed into the restaurant without masks, and the same masks are used.”[41]

In an article published on January 6, 2022, an Italian tourist described the safety corridors as a formality due to the hotel staff’s non-compliance with the preventive measures and guests who mostly do not wear masks, and because the restaurants allowed mixing with Russian tourists who received the Sputnik vaccine, which is not recognized in the EU.[42] According to an investigation published by the Czech website,, on March 29, 2021, residents and visitors of the Egyptian tourist city of Marsa Alam go about their daily lives as normal, “as if the coronavirus did not exist,” despite the many signs warning of the need to follow anti-infection procedures in the Egyptian hotel, with people moving about without wearing masks or observing social distancing.[43]Numerous sources emphasized that coronavirus tests in Egypt are a formality. According to reports in the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, in January 2022, an Italian tourist described the swabs as fake, with the swab taken from just one nostril without going deep enough to obtain a proper sample.[44]

Other media focused on expatriate cases or deaths from their time in Egypt. The Austrian news site,, published a news article on November 24, 2021 on the death from coronavirus complications of a member of the FPÖ while on vacation in Egypt.[45] Meanwhile, the Ukrainian site, m.censor, reported the deaths of 12 Ukrainian tourists, two of whom died of the coronavirus, between January and March 23 of 2021[46]; and on March 18, 2020, the site also reported on a coronavirus case in someone returning from Egypt.[47] Before that, on June 25, 2020, the Ukrayinska Pravda newspaper reported on several cases of coronavirus in people returning to Ukraine from Egypt.[48] The German site, T-Online, also reported on a German citizen who returned from Egypt with the Delta variant in June of 2021.[49] The Czech website,, published a report on May 19, 2021 on two children from the Ostrava area infected with the so-called “Egyptian variant” of the coronavirus,[50] which is considered a precedent in the description of world-wide coronavirus mutations.

Trend toward politicization of the pandemic

Media coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in Egypt has not been limited to health conditions and the implementation of preventive measures. Rather, it has included a clear level of politicization in some cases, which can be classified into two categories: the link between the outbreak of the coronavirus and the status of human rights, or the total disregard for the virus in the media coverage due to official strategic relationships with Egypt.

British media coverage, specifically the BBC and The Guardian, predominantly focused on the performance of the government, quoting Egyptians’ complaints of the ineffective response to the pandemic. In August 2020, the BBC published a report on criticisms of the misuse of rapid antibody tests that put medical staff at risk due to their inaccuracy and their contribution to coronavirus outbreaks.[51] In another report, published on May 26, 2020, the doctors’ union accused the Egyptian Ministry of Health of negligence in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its contribution to the increasing deaths of doctors, as well as the lack of personal protective equipment and hospital beds.[52] Before that, on May 21, 2020, The Guardian published an article on doctors’ urgent requests for coronavirus tests and protective medical equipment,[53] followed by another report, in July of 2020, on the prosecution and detention by the security authorities of doctors who spread news and information about the deteriorating working conditions in health facilities and the increase in doctors’ deaths due to the lack of protective equipment. The report focused on threats to doctors of imprisonment or investigation by the Egyptian National Security Agency.[54]

Due to The Guardian’s coverage of the pandemic in Egypt, Egyptian authorities forced journalist Ruth Michaelson to leave Egypt in March of 2020, [55] after she wrote an article containing scientific research results indicating that official Egyptian coronavirus case statistics may be inaccurate and the number of cases higher than that reported by the Egyptian authorities. On March 17, 2020, the State Information Service closed The Guardian’s office and withdrew its credentials for failing to comply with professional rules in a report the British newspaper published on the coronavirus. The SIS also issued an ultimatum to a New York Times reporter in Cairo to consult official sources in his reporting on Egypt and to adhere to professional rules. In a statement, the SIS confirmed that the two newspapers had not complied with professional rules in their reporting on the subject of the coronavirus in Egypt.[56]

Human rights in Egypt appear to have been the focus of Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper. Its coverage focused on human rights issues and did not include references to the coronavirus pandemic. Hélène Sallon, a correspondent for the French newspaper, Le Monde, wrote an article published on March 21, 2020, entitled, “In combatting the coronavirus, Egypt fluctuates between denial and repression.” This article focused on the security campaign against the spread of information that contradicts official statistics on coronavirus cases, including an expose of criticisms of Egyptian authorities’ lack of transparency and the detention of those who disseminate unofficial case numbers. The report also focused on health conditions in prisons and concerns over outbreaks there.[57]

The other pattern of politicization in covering societal interactions during the pandemic is complete disregard for the state of the pandemic in Egypt. This pattern prevails in countries with strategic relationships with Egypt, especially Saudi Arabia and China. Despite Saudi Arabia’s classification of Egypt in June 2021 as a country at a very elevated risk level vis-à-vis the outbreak of the pandemic—according to reports in the Saudi newspaper, El-Watan, on June 21, 2021, advising Saudi citizens not to travel to Egypt[58]—this did not lead to intensive coverage of Egyptian coronavirus cases in the El-Watan and Okaz sample of Saudi newspapers, except solely through official statements and data.

The Phoenix Chinese News and Sina News sites within the Chinese sample did not contain reports of the status of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak in Egypt or the preventive measures implemented in Egypt. This is related to the very special relationship between Egypt and China and the two countries’ partnership in combatting the virus since the beginning of the outbreak, with China providing support to Cairo in the way of medical aid and vaccines from the initial stages of the coronavirus outbreak.

Explanations for Egypt’s non-pandemic state

Disregard for the pandemic within major sectors of Egyptian society raises questions about the motives for adopting such a stance toward a health threat that causes concern in societies around the world and provokes the criticisms and disapproval of some members of other societies, according to media coverage. The first explanation for this situation lies in the mentality of denial that helps individuals confront existential threats. This is a defensive, psychological trick used within survival tactics in order to continue normal life. The existence of the danger is denied, and claims that even those who follow preventive measures can be infected cause a spiral of chaos and widespread infection amid the pandemic.[59]

This situation is a ripple effect of an official policy of denial that was adopted in the initial stages of the pandemic. The possibility of an outbreak of the disease in Egypt or the existence of an epidemic was denied, measures to prevent infection were delayed until later stages, and Egyptian media adopted a narrative of conspiracy theories and underestimation of the pandemic until the spread of infections became clear to everyone and reached all sectors of society.[60]

Official indicators of declining risk and the easing of restrictions on movement and assembly lead to exaggerated interpretations within society that there is no threat, especially with the opening of commercial markets and gathering places and permission to gather, which sends a message to the average person that there is no discrepancy vis-à-vis the contemporaneous message on the ground of increasing case numbers and deaths. A message of reassurance always finds a stronger resonance among citizens, which leads to the failure to adopt precautionary measures against the pandemic.[61]

Egypt’s downplaying, as Shulhofer-Wohl and Koehler put it in this volume, at the outset of the pandemic encouraged relaxed attitudes vis-à-vis the health threat posed by the coronavirus. Whenever the state tended towards easing restrictions, the population felt that there was no problem and that the pandemic was over or about to end soon. This means that the ruling regime’s implicit and explicit signals regarding the pandemic and the need to return to normalcy are among the factors motivating the state of non-pandemic in Egypt.

Individuals’ desire to return to normal life for fear of the economic impact of lockdowns may prompt them to ignore the pandemic and attempt to return to the pre-pandemic state, especially since the informal economy represents about 63% of Egypt’s labor.[62] Likewise, high unemployment rates have invoked the need to end preventive measures. For example, the rate of unemployment in the second quarter of 2020 rose to 9.6% of the total labor force, compared to 7.7% in the first quarter of the same year, and the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics has attributed this rise to the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, which closed businesses and shops in the country, suspended schools and air traffic, and halted transportation at night.[63]

In sum, the state of non-pandemic reflects an unwritten, tacit agreement between the state and society in Egypt. The state wishes to move beyond the pandemic state for fear of its impact on the national economy and rising rates of unemployment, and society shares these fears while at the same time increasing their impact by underestimating the seriousness of the threat or the adequacy and ability of preventive measures to save society. This pushes an arbitrary return to the pre-pandemic state and the spread of conspiracy theories and rumors. Conspiracy theories and irrational discourse are among the catalysts of the state of non-pandemic in Egypt, in which prevention measures are minimized as either unnecessary or insufficient to prevent a risk greater than people’s ability to adapt, and the coronavirus is considered part of a larger conspiracy.[64]

It also appears that the effect of the non-pandemic state on transnational societal interactions varies according to rising and falling waves of cases, the extent of the spread of cases and deaths among those arriving in or interacting with Egypt, and the presence of international events organized in Egypt, in addition to the strength of the geopolitical relationships between Egypt and the interacting countries, the degree of authoritarianism or democracy of the regimes governing those countries, and the ability of official authorities to control the media.

Despite numerous reports in foreign newspapers highlighting the non-pandemic state in Egypt and warning against going there, the rapid recovery of Egyptian tourism in 2021 can be explained by several factors. These include the disconnect between the views of Egypt presented in the media, tourists’ actual attitudes of towards Egypt, and the spread of counter-narratives in some newspapers promoting Egypt as a safe tourist destination.




[1] “Miṣr tastaqbal ūlā shaḥanāt laqā Sinopharm al- ṣīnī li-coronavirus” [Egypt receives first shipments of Chinese Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine], Reuters, December 10, 2020,

[2]  “Situation by Region, Country, Territory & Area,” World Health Organization,

[3] “14.9 million excess deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021,” World Health Organization, May 5, 2022,

[4] Dylan Walsh, “COVID-19 cases are 12 times higher than reported,” MIT Management Sloan School, July 2, 2020,

[5]  “Egypt receives first shipments of Chinese Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine,” Op.cit.

[6]  Ehab Farouk, “Kamāmāt corona…ʿibʾ jadīd ʿalā al-miṣriyyīn wasṭ muṣāʿib iqtiṣādiyya” [Corona masks…a new burden on Egyptians amid economic hardships], Reuters, June 1, 2020,

[7] “Miṣriyyūn yuʾkhkharūna al-kamāmāt bi-ginayh wa-iʿalāmiy yuʿalliq: ‘mā nafʿaluhu yajʿalu corona yamawt min al-ḍaḥk’” [Egyptians rent masks for a pound; talk show host comments: “What we do makes Corona die of laughter”], Al Bayan, May 20, 2020,

[8] Alaa Omran, “‘Taḥlīl corona maḍrūb’…tafāṣīl ḍabaṭ ʿiṣāba al-tazwīr fī al-Qāhira” [“Rigged corona tests”…details of the seizure of the forgery gang in Cairo], Masrawy, March 29, 2021,

[9] Bahjat Abu Deif, “ʿItirāfāt muṣammim graphic: istaghill muharatiy fī tazwīr taḥlīl corona wa-sharīkiy yatawallā al-ṭibāʿa” [Confessions of a graphic designer: I used my skill to forge corona tests and my partner does the printing], Youm7, October 13, 2021,

[10] Mohamed Sāmi, “Ḥimāya al-mustahlik: ighlaq 6 muʿāmil li-l-taḥālīl al-ṭibbiyya wa-markaz li-l-ʿilāj al-ṭabīʿiyy bi-beni suef” [Consumer protection: closure of 6 medical analysis laboratories and a physiotherapy center in Beni Suef], Masrawy, February 4, 2021,

[11]  Mohammed Shaʿabān, “Tafāṣīl ghalq maʿamal shahīr fī-l-haram” [Details of the closure of well-known laboratory in Al-Haram], Masrawy, November 8, 2021,

[12] “Miṣr…ʿuqūba shadīd ʿalā tazwīr shahada laqā corona” [Egypt…severe punishment for forging coronavirus vaccine certificate], Russia Today Arabic, December 17, 2021,

[13]Walid Abdel Salaam, “Al-ṣiḥa tuṣdir al-nuskha al-sābiʿa min protocol ʿilāj corona mutaḍammina al-ʾadwiya al- jadīda” [Ministry of Health issues seventh version of coronavirus treatment protocol, including new medicines], Youm 7, February 1, 2022,

[14]“Al-duktūr Mohamed Sedky: al-ʾashiʿaa al-maqṭaʿiyya w-l- taḥālīl aqwwiy min masḥa corona” [Dr. Mohamed Sedky: CT scans and tests are more powerful than a corona swab], MBC Masr, July 2020,

[15]Wafaa Bakri, “‘Al-ʾashiʿaa al-maqṭaʿiyya’ khaṭwa muhimma wa-l-ʾibtiʿād ʿan ‘5 sumūm bayḍāʾ’ li-tujnnib ‘al-khulṭāt.’” [“CT scan” is an important step for diagnosis and avoidance of “5 white toxins” to avoid “clots”], Al-Masry al-Youm, February 4, 2021,

[16]Safwat El Desouky, “Tabīb Wael al-Ibrashi…hal tasabbab fī wafāt Dalal Abdel Aziz wa-Samir Ghanem?” [Doctor of Wael al-Ibrashi…did he cause the deaths of Dalal Abdel Aziz and Samir Ghanem?], Al-Ain, January 15, 2022,

[17]“Al-Ifta al-Miṣriyyah tarudd ʿalā ‘khurāfa’ al-shaʿra li-ʿilāj coronavirus…wa-l-tajammuʿa ‘haram’” [Egyptian Ifta responds to the hair “myth” to treat the coronavirus…and gathering is “haram”], CNN Arabic, March 4, 2020,

[18]“Egypt’s President Sisi ends state of emergency for the first time in years,” Reuters, October 26, 2021,

[19]Yezid Sayigh, “Relinquishing the Driver’s Seat,” Carnegie Middle East, April 24, 2020,

[20]“Egypt’s January-June tourism revenues were $3.5-4 bln – deputy minister,” Reuters, July 4, 2021,

[21]Abdu Abu Ghanima, “Tuʿarrif ʿalā ʾakthar 10 duwal ʾirsalat suyyāḥan li-Miṣr khilāl ʿām 2019” [Learn about the 10 countries that sent the most tourists to Egypt during 2019], El-Watan, February 6, 2020,

[22]“Coronavirus: iktishāf ʾawwal ḥāla la-maṣāb fī Miṣr wa-ʾallatiy taʿūd li-shakhṣ ‘ajnabiyy’” [Coronavirus: discovery of the first case of the virus in Egypt, traced to a “foreign” person], BBC Arabic, February 14, 2020,

[23]Marc Oliver Rühle, “Welche Urlaubsländer sich jetzt lohnen” [Which holiday countries are worth it now], Bild, October 30, 2021,

[24]Tom Reichel, “Frühbucher können fast die Hälfte sparen, warum Sie sich jetzt schon die besten Angebote sichern sollten” [Early bookers can save almost half, why you should secure the best offers now], Bild, November 15, 2021,

[25]Hans-Werner Rodrian, “Corona bedroht Weihnachtsurlaub, Wohin Sie jetzt noch reisen können” [Corona threatens Christmas vacation: Where else can you travel now], T-Online, December 17, 2021,

[26]Karolina Walczowska, “Polacy spędzają ferie… za granicą [Poles spend their holidays…abroad], Onet Podroze, January 25, 2021,

[27]“Wakacje marzeń w Egipcie — pustynny krajobraz, starożytne zabytki i magia podwodnego świata” [Dream vacation in Egypt—a desert landscape, ancient monuments and the magic of the underwater world], Onet Podroze, January 7, 2021,

[28]“Gdzie Polacy najchętniej wyjeżdżają na święta? “Wysokiej klasy hotele w słonecznym Egipcie” [Where do Poles most often go for Christmas? “High-class hotels in sunny Egypt”], Onet Podroze, December 24, 2021,

[29]“Oto ulubione kierunki wyjazdów zagranicznych Polaków w tym roku” [Here are the favorite destinations for Polish foreign trips this year], Onet Podroze, September 2021,

[30]“Egypt – ráj pro každého, kdo si rád užívá” [Egypt—a paradise for everyone to enjoy],, July 8, 2021,

[31]Bérénice Debras, “Le monde dans ma tartine…au Caire” [The world’s my oyster…in Cairo], Le Figaro April 10, 2020,

[32]Jean-Bernard Carillet, “Voyage: les 12 destinations à (re)découvrir en 2022” [Travel: 12 destinations to (re)discover in 2022]. Le Figaro, January 1, 2022,

[33]Silke Sperling, “Müssen wir weihnachten zu hause bleiben? In diesen Ländern ist Ihr Urlaub in Gefahr” [Do we have to stay home for Christmas? In these countries your holiday is in danger], Bild, November 27, 2021,

[34]Sandra Von Simonsen, “Das sollten Ägypten-Urlauber jetzt beachten” [Egypt vacationers should now consider this], T-Online, August 1, 2021,

[35]“Cestu do Egypta doporučuji. Covid tu prodělat nechcete, říká velvyslanec” [I do not recommend a trip to Egypt. You don’t want to experience Covid here, says the ambassador],, March 7, 2021,

[36]Dirk Weitzmann, “Wird die Handball-WM ganz abgebrochen? Wie groß ist die Ansteckungsgefahr?” [Will the Handball World Cup be canceled altogether? How great is the risk of infection?], Bild, January 18, 2021,

[37]“Erlangens Handballchef: WM in Ägypten ‘ein Wahnsinn’” [Erlangen’s handball coach: World Cup in Egypt is ‘madness’]. Bild, January 4, 2021,

[38]Dirk Weitzmann, “Wegen corona-angst: Frühstück aufs Zimmer für unsere Handballer” [Corona fear: Breakfast in the room for our handball players], Bild, January 15, 2021,

[39]“Büfett-Schlangen in Kairo und viel Arbeit für DHB-Delegation” [Buffet queues in Cairo and a lot of work for the DHB delegation], Bild, January 14, 2021,

[40]Paolo Foschi, “Italiani positivi al Covid bloccati anche alle Seychelles, oltre ai focolai alle Maldive e in Egitto” [Covid positive Italians also blocked in the Seychelles, in addition to outbreaks in the Maldives and Egypt], Corriere della Sera, January 7, 2022,


[42]Paolo Foschi, “Italiani positivi al Covid e bloccati alle Maldive: come il virus ha bucato il Corridoio sicuro” [Italians positive for Covid and blocked in the Maldives: how the virus penetrated the safety corridor], Corriere della Sera, January 6, 2022,

[43]Petr Kolář, “Jak to vypadá na dovolené v čase covidu? V Egyptě se chodí bez „zobáku” [What does it look like on vacation at the time of Covid? People go without a mask in Egypt],, March 29, 2021,

[44]Paolo Foschi, “Italiani positivi al Covid bloccati anche alle Seychelles, oltre ai focolai alle Maldive e in Egitto” [Covid positive Italians also blocked in the Seychelles, in addition to outbreaks in the Maldives and Egypt], Op. cit.

[45]“FPÖ-Politiker starb im Ägypten-Urlaub an Corona” [FPÖ politician died of Corona while on vacation in Egypt]. Heute, November 24, 2021,

[46]“12 украинцев погибли с начала года в Египте: двое от COVID-19, – посол” [Ambassador—12 Ukrainians have died since the beginning of the year in Egypt: two from COVID-19],, March 23, 2021,

[47]“У 52-летнего мариупольца, вернувшегося из Египта, подтвердили COVID-19, – глава Донецкой ОГА Кириленко” [52-year-old Mariupol citizen who returned from Egypt tested positive for COVID-19, according to head of Donetsk regional state administration Kirilenko],, March 18, 2020,

[48]Olga Kyrylenko, “Історія коронавірусу в Україні: як прийшов та поширився країною” [History of the coronavirus in Ukraine: how it came and spread across the country], Ukrayinska Pravda, June 25, 2020,

[49]“Delta-Variante des Coronavirus erstmals in Dortmund nachgewiesen” [Delta variant of the coronavirus detected for the first time in Dortmund], T-Online, June 11, 2021,

[50]Ivana Lesková, “Děti z Ostravska po návratu z Egypta onemocněly variantou zmutovaného viru” [After returning from Egypt, children from Ostrava became ill with a variant of the mutated virus],, May 19, 2021,

[51]“Coronavirus: Why Egypt has faced criticism over antibody tests,” BBC News, August 15, 2020,

[52]“Coronavirus: Egypt doctors accuse government over medics’ deaths,” BBC News, May 26, 2020,

[53]Ruth Michaelson, “‘It’s a disaster’: Egypt’s doctors plead for more PPE and testing,” The Guardian, May 21, 2020,

[54]Ruth Michaelson, “Egypt: doctors targeted for highlighting Covid-19 working conditions,” The Guardian, July 15, 2020,

[55]Michael Safi, “Egypt forces Guardian journalist to leave after coronavirus story,” The Guardian, March 26, 2020,

[56]“Miṣr taghliq maktab al-Gārdiyān wa-tuḥdhdhir New York Times bi-sabab corona” [Egypt closes Guardian office and warns The New York Times over corona], Al-Ain, March 17, 2020,

[57]Hélène Sallon, “Face au coronavirus, l’Egypte oscille entre déni et repression” [Faced with the coronavirus, Egypt oscillates between denial and repression], Le Monde, March 21, 2020,

[58]“Al-Saʿudiyya tuṣnnif 69 dawla ḍimni mustawā khuṭūra murtafaʿa jidan bi-corona” [Saudi Arabia ranks 69 countries with a very high risk level for coronavirus], Al Watan, June 21, 2021,

[59]Atef Abdel Hamid, “Coronavirus: limadha yatahāwan al-bʿaḍ fī Miṣr bi-l-ʾijrāʾāt al-ʾiḥtirāziyya li-muwājihat COVID-19?” [Coronavirus: Why are some in Egypt negligent about precautionary measures to confront COVID-19?],BBC Arabic, August 28, 2020,

[60]Mohamed Abdelaziz, The Egyptian response to coronavirus: Denial and conspiracy, Washington Institute for Near East Policy Fikra Forum, March 27, 2020,

[61]Atef Abdel Hamid, Op.cit.

[62] Mirette F. Mabrouk, “Egypt’s sizeable informal economy complicates its pandemic response.”, Middle East Institute, 22 June 2020,

[63]“Corona yatasabbab bi-ʾirtifāʿa muʿaddal al-baṭṭāla fī Miṣr bi-l-rubʿa al-thaniy min 2020” [Corona causes an increase in the unemployment rate in Egypt in the second quarter of 2020], CNN Arabic, 18 August 2020,

[64] Khaled Hanafy, “Dhahniyyāt al-ʾawbiʾa: anmāṭ wa-dawāfiʿa ʾintishār ‘sardiyāt al- al-muʾāmara’ hawla Coronavirus”[Pandemic mentality: Patterns and motives for spreading “conspiracy narratives” about the coronavirus], Future UAE, 12 April 2020.