Egypt’s Birth Rate Might Decline During COVID-19 Outbreak, Says Deputy Minister of Population
By Nour El-Miligi
As the world continues to struggle with the novel coronavirus pandemic and employees facing job discharges, entities declaring bankruptcy and hospitals running out of space to welcome patients, people are becoming more worried, wondering where life is heading.
Doctor Tarik Tawfik, Egypt’s Deputy Minister of Health and Population for Population Affairs, said that the coronavirus may affect all family behaviors, whether marriage, divorce, or even childbearing.
Doctor Tawfik expected that the coronavirus may lead to a huge decline in birth rates during the nine months following the pandemic as a result of partners’ fears of job losses, health-related concerns, and a restriction of services and facilities provided when the burden on health systems increases.
Moreover, the Ministry of Health has already advised postponing pregnancy due to the risks of blood clotting and the harms a placenta might cause, asserting the fact that the current time is regarded as “inappropriate” to create families and raise babies. “We are to witness a period of low birth rates”, Dr. Tawfik clarified.
Yet, the deputy minister expects a rebound in fertility rates during the next five years after the pandemic is over. This theory is inspired by the blooming birth rates that occurred in Norway and Sweden post the Spanish Flu in 1918. In order to avoid the possibility of this happening, Dr. Tawfik suggested intensifying governmental efforts to raise public awareness and encourage families to take the issue in a serious manner.