Egypt’s Ministry of Health announced 388 new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on Tuesday, the highest infection rate registered in Egypt so far, bringing the country’s total to 7,201. The ministry also reported 16 new Covid-19 deaths to increase the total fatalities to 452. Up to 1,730 cases have recovered and been discharged from quarantines.
Earlier on Tuesday, Gharbeya’s Health Directorate said that Ezbet El-Menshawy, a sub-district of the village of Qaloula and a residential block in the village of Kafr El-Sheikh Selim have been quarantined for 14 days. The move comes as several coronavirus infections were detected in the two areas.
The directorate has undertaken testing on some of those who were in contact with the infected cases, whilst also undertaking disinfection and sterilisation of streets and housing units.
The Minya Health Directorate has announced that 80% of its coronavirus infections have recovered, and 123 cases at the Mallawi quarantine hospital have stabilised. There are currently 85 coronavirus infections in the governate.
On Monday, Minister of Health Hala Zayed called on quarantine hospitals directors to provide an updated online database to register and track coronavirus patients from the moment they are admitted to hospitals. This will also allow for the necessary medical checks to be conducted and follow up on their health condition until they leave hospital.
The ministry had previously announced that 17 out of Egypt’s 30 quarantine hospitals are in operation to cater for coronavirus patients. A further 34 chest and fever hospitals are currently being prepared as extra quarantine hospitals, in addition to the training of medical workers at these hospitals.
Dr Ahmed Al-Subki, Chairperson of the General Authority for Health Care and Assistant to the Health Minister said, on Monday, that the quarantine hospitals have reached their maximum capacity. He added that the ministry is addressing alternative quarantine areas that could include hotels, but the cost will be higher.
Al-Subki revealed that the total number of people who have come into contact with infected cases and subsequently gone under the Ministry of Health’s Preventative Medicine Sector tracking has now reached over 90,000.
Al-Subki’s comments came during a meeting of the parliamentary Planning and Budgeting Committee to discuss a draft budget for the Ministry of Health and its affiliated bodies for fiscal year (FY) 2020/2021.
Al-Subki revealed that rural and informal areas have so far reported fewer coronavirus infections compared to urban areas, but warned that the number of infections is increasing in Egypt.
He added that there is a daily allowance of EGP 350 for workers at quarantine hospitals, adding that bonuses and allowances paid to the medical workers are exempt from taxes and fees.
Earlier in April, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said that allocations for spending on Egypt’s health sector reached EGP 258bn in the draft budget for FY 2020/2021. This reflects an EGP 82bn increase, or rise of 46%, over the current year’s budget..
Cabinet spokesperson Nader Saad said in televised statements on Monday that the government is unlikely to change the hours of the night-time curfew which was enforced in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
As Ramadan started, the government extended the night curfew for a further two weeks, but reduced the length by one hour, for it to start from 9pm. It is anticipated that the curfew will be extended further from Thursday.