Egypt Independent

Egypt confirms six new deaths, 86 additional coronavirus cases, raising total to 865

Egypt on Thursday confirmed six additional deaths and 86 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s number of confirmed total cases so far to 865.

Fifty-eight people have died from the virus in Egypt.

These newly infected cases are all Egyptian nationals who returned from abroad or were in contact with previously confirmed cases in Egypt, Health Ministry Spokesperson Khaled Megahed said, adding that the total number of fully-recovered cases rose to 201 on Thursday, all of whom have been discharged from isolation hospitals.

Twenty-two cases left quarantine on Thursday. 

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has decided that the Tahya Misr Fund (Long Live Egypt Fund) to pay for the costs of quarantine for Egyptian returnees staying in hotels across the country, said Minister of State for Media Osama Heikal.

During a telephone interview with Ahmed Mossa’s “Alaa Mas’olity” TV show on Wednesday, Heikal said that this decision includes Egyptians who have returned during the past two days.

The quarantine period will last for 14 days as scheduled so far, he added.

On March 24, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly imposed a two-week nationwide curfew from seven pm until six am beginning and extended school closures an additional two weeks to fight the spread of coronavirus.

Egypt had already closed mosques and churches across the country, banned shisha at cafes, and asked non-essential stores and shops to close each evening.

Under the curfew announced on Tuesday, shops will be closed from five pm until six am during the week, while stores will be subjected to a complete shutdown on Fridays and Saturdays.

However, the closure decisions do not include bakeries, pharmacies, grocery stores or supermarkets outside shopping centers, Madbouly said, while restaurants will be limited to home delivery only.

Cafes have been shuttered completely.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also previously announced a LE100 billion comprehensive plan to counter the outbreak and its negative economic consequences, while the Central Bank of Egypt has adopted various measures to cushion the economy as harsh measures are implemented to contain the outbreak.

These include a three percent interest rate cut, providing loans to tourist establishments with repayment terms of up to two years, and an injection of LE20 billion, or $US 1.27 billion, to support the stock market.

Photo caption: Passengers wearing masks, amid the new coronavirus outbreak, are checked by Iraqi Health Ministry employees upon their arrival at Basra airport, in Basra, Iraq February 1, 2020. (Reuters)