Around 864 thousand Egyptians got infected with COVID-19 in November and December 2020
76% of ever-infected respondents went to a private sector medical unit for diagnoses
The Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (baseera) conducted a phone surveys to measure the incidence of Covid-19 virus among Egyptians aged 18 years and above. The survey explored the tests conducted by ever-infected persons to diagnose the disease and the symptoms that the patients experienced.
The results showed that at the beginning of the second wave, in November and December 2020, about 864,000 Egyptians aged 18+ were infected. The cumulative number of ever-infected Egyptians until the January 10th, 2021 could be estimated 2.9 million persons. Worth mentioning that this estimate results from the respondents' self-reporting, that is, it is a self-diagnosis of the disease, and not all cases depend on a clinical diagnosis. Thus, the estimated number may be less than the real number as a result of the unwillingness of some of the infected persons to mention their infection because they feel that the infection may constitute a stigma for them or because the symptoms were minor, and they did not remember its occurrence. On the other hand, this number may be greater than the real number in case the symptoms are similar with Symptoms of other diseases, including other types of influenza.
All ever-infected respondents were asked how they have been diagnosed. Around 72% indicated that they were examined by a doctor, 61% performed a blood test, 56% performed a CT scan, and 23% performed swab test, and less than 1% were diagnosed by other methods.
It is evident from the results that 13% of the respondents who had previously been infected took one of the aforementioned tests to diagnose the disease, 23% took two tests, 32% took three tests and 15% took four tests while 17% did not do any diagnostic test and relied on self-diagnosis.
It should be noted that the percentage of those who did not undergo any diagnostic test is higher among those with university education compared to the less educated, as 21% of those with a university education or higher relied on self-diagnosis without conducting tests compared to 15% among those with less than intermediate education.
Respondents who conducted medical examinations were asked about the affiliation of the medical units where they conducted the tests. The results indicated that 67% resorted to the private sector medical units, 24% resorted to the public sector, and 9% resorted to more than one medical unit, some of them are affiliated to the public sector and some of them are affiliated to the private sectors. The results indicate that about two-thirds of those in the lowest economic level have resorted to the private sector to diagnose their disease, and this percentage rises to 90% among those in the highest economic level. the percentage increase from 73% in urban areas to 83% in rural areas.
The results indicate that ever-infected respondents experienced several symptoms, as it is clear from the results that 64% of them suffered from fever, 56% reported impaired sense of smell and taste, 46% suffered from severe coughing, 40% suffered from sore throat, 37% suffered from body and muscles pain, and 24% experienced vomiting or diarrhea.
Ever-infected respondents were asked about a set of procedures and measures to explore the percentage that has done each of them. The results indicated that 94% of them took a treatment while 6% did not take any treatment, 88% isolated themselves at home while 12% did not self-isolate. It is worth noting that most of those who did not isolate themselves at home were not among those admitted to hospital, and therefore it is likely that they had contacted other individuals during their illness.
Ever-infected respondents were asked about their rating for the health sector performance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 24% of them indicated that it is very good, 20% see it as good, 14% see it as bad and 26% see it as very bad, and 16 could not decide.
The full report could be downloaded from baseera website (www.baseera.com.eg). Survey methodology: In accordance with the principle of transparency and commitment to the ethics of publishing polls, Baseera Center discloses the methodology of it conducted survey as follows:
The survey was conducted using a landline phones and mobile phones on a sample of 3020 Egyptians, in the age group of 18 years or above, covering all the governorates of the Republic. The interviews were conducted from December 27, 2020 to January 10, 2021. The response rate was about 57.4%, with a margin of error less than 3%. The poll was self-funded by the baseera. For more details on the results and methodology used or for a graphical presentation of the results, please refer to www.baseera.com.eg and baseera information bank www.baseeraibank.com.