Turkey vows to continue anti-terror operations in northern Iraq    Israel deal on annexation will take a while to take effect, White House adviser says    Erdogan says Turkey will exact 'high price' for any attack on vessel    Jailed Muslim Brotherhood leading member Essam El-Erian dies from heart attack    Man Utd target Sancho says 'happy' at Dortmund    Indonesian teachers warn of new virus clusters as schools reopen    Real, Liverpool exits don't help Man City, says Silva    Live score: RB Leipzig v Atletico Madrid (UEFA Champions League)    Germany: Optimistic we'll have a vaccine in coming months and certainly next year    Philippines eyes clinical trials for Russian COVID-19 vaccine in October    EBRD provides $200mn for Egypt's trade, private business amid coronavirus    Egypt sends shipment of 14 tonnes of flour to Lebanon    Egypt records 129 new coronavirus cases, 26 deaths on Wednesday    UK enters recession after GDP dived by a record 20.4% in Q2    New Zealand locks down largest city after cases end 102-day run    Egypt's property developer SODIC profits drop 80% in H1    Egypt's senate elections 2020 trending on social media in few days    Egypt reopens Rafah border crossing for first time since April    168 new coronavirus cases, 24 deaths recorded on Tuesday    Egypt discusses Amazon expansion plans in the local market    Scramble for the Senate seats    French publisher's jarring memoir to be released in English    Breaking down barriers    Foreign currency takes a hit    The last piece of gold    Mohamed Mandour, guru of modern pottery    Lebanese demand change after government quits over Beirut explosion    Trump says ‘great' bond with China's counterpart changed after COVID-19    VIDEO: Al-Rehab residents vote in ُEgypt's Senate elections in highly organized manner    Netflix Egypt released its teaser images of Arabic original series, Ma Waraa Al Tabiaa    Egypt puts in place scheme ahead of Senate elections – ministry    African Champions League final will be played on Oct. 16-17, CAF says    Egypt invites Tesla's founder to visit Giza Pyramids after controversial tweets    No room to delay Egyptian Premier League games – EFA's board member    Egypt Cup games to resume after Premier League finishes: EFA    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Google ‘translate' ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Bringing coronavirus under control
Published in Ahram Online on 10 - 03 - 2020

This week saw growing concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus in Egypt to replace the possible insouciance of a few days earlier when many had done little but joke about the matter.
But that was before the Ministry of Health and Population announced the detection of further coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections in Egypt to 59. On 6 March, the ministry reported the first fatality in the case of a German tourist, 60, who had been admitted to hospital in Hurghada shortly after his arrival to Egypt.
Plenty of rumours were circulated in the meantime, some about where new cases had been found and others on whether schools or other institutions would be shut or not. As Al-Ahram Weekly went to press, the government was denying that schools would be closed.
However, Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli has suspended events involving large gatherings or those involving the movement of large numbers of people between governorates.
The regulation includes local moulids, or religious festivals, several of which were planned for this month. Several other events were cancelled this week, and the Luxor Festival for African Cinema has cancelled public screenings.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this week that “depending on their context, countries with Covid-19 community transmission could consider closing schools, cancelling mass gatherings, and other measures to reduce exposure,” referring to the scientific name of the new coronavirus.
Khaled Megahed, official spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Cairo, said that among Egypt's 59 cases, 45 were detected among foreign tourists aboard a Nile cruise. “The whole cruise was put under quarantine. The ministry examined the tourists, and those who tested positive for Covid-19 were taken by military plane to the Al-Negeila Quarantine Hospital in Marsa Matrouh.”
The tourists were infected by a Taiwanese-US national who returned to Taiwan in February after travelling on the cruise ship. At a press conference, Megahed said 21 of the cases had already recovered, while the others were still receiving medical treatment.
In order to screen incoming individuals, Megahed said devices would be imported and distributed to airports nationwide. In its efforts to contain the spread of the virus, the Health Ministry has also stepped up the inspection of hotels.
The cabinet issued a statement on Tuesday in which it said that national carrier EgyptAir had decided to resume some flights to Saudi Arabia to bring back Egyptian nationals stuck in the country after a decision by the Saudi authorities to halve flights to and from Egypt over increasing worries over the new coronavirus.
Two flights will operate a day from Jeddah to Cairo, and some other flights will be operating from Medina, Riyadh, Dammam, Qassim, and Abha to Cairo. In addition, the Saudi embassy in Cairo also allowed flights from Egypt to Saudi Arabia on 10 and 11 March to return Saudi nationals to Saudi Arabia after they had been stuck in Egypt when the authorities shut down flights.
Saudi Arabia has suspended travel by its nationals and residents to nine countries, including the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, South Korea, Egypt, Italy, and Iraq in an attempt to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. The Saudi Foreign Ministry said that the authorities had been taking all the necessary measures to slow down the spread of the virus, as more than 7,000 cases had been confirmed in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia also announced that all arrivals from countries that had recorded infections would need to submit polymerase chain reaction (PCR) certificates. Following the announcement, thousands of Egyptians clamoured in front of the Ministry of Health's central laboratories in Cairo in order to undergo the required test.
The test determines whether the virus is present in the blood and if so in what quantity.
Kuwait has also temporarily suspended flights to Egypt from 6 to 13 March. The suspension also includes seven more countries, among them Lebanon, Syria, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.
According to the WHO, the global death toll from the new coronavirus is now around 3,800, with some 110,000 confirmed cases since Covid-19 first emerged in China in late December.
The coronavirus has already crossed into 110 countries. However, during the WHO's daily press briefing on Monday Ghebreyesus said there were reasons for optimism. “Of the four countries with the most cases, China is bringing its Covid-19 epidemic under control, and there is now a decline in new cases being reported from Japan,” he tweeted.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 12 March, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

Clic here to read the story from its source.