Egypt’s health ministry has denied that it authorised the production of any type of coronavirus medicine, affirming that all COVID-19 patients in the country are receiving treatment according to a protocol developed by an Egyptian scientific committee.
Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed dismissed as “entirely false” reports in news outlets and social media that Egypt had authorised the production of Chloroquine Phosphate as an emerging medicine for COVID-19.
“According to the World Health Organisation, it has not yet been proven that an effective drug can be used to treat the emerging coronavirus,” Megahed said, adding that the treatment protocol applied to cases of infection in Egypt has been developed through the relevant scientific committee.
Megahed affirmed that the ministry is willing to take legal measures against anyone who makes false statements on its behalf, saying that such irresponsible statements lead to confusion among citizens.
The ministry urged all members of the media and social media users to seek information from the entitled authorities.
Egypt has extended measures to stem the spread of the virus one day after Egypt reported nine new deaths on Tuesday, the highest toll in a single day since the first case was detected in the country in mid-February. Another 128 new cases were confirmed on the same day.
On Thursday, Egypt registered 110 new cases and nine fatalities, bringing the total to 1,560 cases and 103 deaths nationwide.
According to official figures, 305 cases have been treated and checked out of hospitals, out of 439 cases who have retested negative for coronavirus.
The increase in positive cases comes amid fears that medical facilities in the populous country will be overwhelmed.
The curfew was first imposed on 25 March will continue to be in effect until 23 April and will now begin at 8 pm instead of the previous 7 pm.
The closure of schools and universities and the decision to slash the number of state employees going to work will be extended for the same period to lower the risk of virus transmission.
Egypt has halted international flights, suspended schools and universities, banned mass gatherings, shuttered cinemas, gyms, mosques and churches and suspended communal prayers over the coronavirus.
The prime minister said the current infection count in Egypt is in line with the government’s projections.