Egypt’s Minister of Education Tarek Shawky revealed on Wednesday that the were 49 recorded coronavirus cases out of 25 million students in the school system since the start of academic year on 17 October.
In TV statements to DMC TV network, Shawky explained that the numbers were based on a report presented by Minister of Health Hala Zayed about coronavirus cases in schools and educational institutions.
“There are 19 cases in Cairo governorate, one case in six governorates, two or three cases in other governorates, and no cases in 14," he said.
He added "there was nothing to worry about as the numbers were reassuring and not alarming and the cases in the schools were without symptoms."
Minister Shawky said the World Health Organization (WHO) stressed the necessity of re-opening schools because there are lower rates of coronavirus infection among students and teachers worldwide.
He cited a recent report issued in the United States called for the necessity of opening schools so students could have a direct education experience with teachers.
The Ministry of Education has adopted preventative measures against the coronavirus to coincide with the start of the academic year including the implementation of a system using both in-school learning and e-learning to reduce the high density of students in classrooms.
The ministry also mandated social distancing and face masks in all schools.
According to coronavirus guidelines adopted by the education ministry, classrooms would be closed for 28 days in the case of more than one student testing positive for coronavirus in a period of two weeks.
Also, a school would be closed for 28 days in case two or more classrooms in the school are closed due to coronavirus cases.
A multi-school complex would also be shut down for 28 days in the case of closure of more than one school in the complex.
Schools in a village or city can be closed on orders of the governorate in the event of quarantining in this village or city, and until the period of quarantine is over.
Egypt has officially reported 107,030 cases of coronavirus including 6,234 fatalities and 99,174 full recoveries since the start of the pandemic.
The number of coronavirus cases in the country has witnessed an uptick in the last several weeks.
Over the past two weeks, Egyptian officials have urged caution in anticipation of any spike that could result in a second wave, especially with the resurgence in coronavirus cases in many European countries, particularly with the advent of autumn.