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Egypt’s coronavirus cases top 97,000 on Thursday

The health ministry reported 111 new coronavirus cases and 15 new deaths over the past 24 hours

Ahram Online , Friday 21 Aug 2020
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/EGYPT-RESORTS
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The total number of coronavirus cases recorded in Egypt since the viral outbreak began in February has reached 97,025 after 111 new cases were recorded on Thursday.

The death toll has reached 5,212 with 15 new fatalities recorded over the last 24 hours, the health ministry announced.

The ministry’s daily bulletin on the pandemic said that 909 patients had been discharged from hospitals on Thursday, raising the total number of recoveries to 63,462.

The country has been witnessing a decline in its daily total of new cases and deaths in recent weeks, despite the lifting of many lockdown measures in June and July.

It has recorded daily tallies of less than a thousand new cases consistently since 9 July.

On 2 August, the daily toll dropped below 200, the first time it had reached that level since April.

Egyptian officials still fear a possible resurgence, particularly with the advent of autumn and the beginning of the new school year.

The education minister has pushed back the start of the new academic year to 17 October in the wake of the pandemic.

On Wednesday, at the weekly meeting of the government committee that is overseeing the response to the crisis, health officials told Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly that the country has not moved out of the crisis yet and urged that all precautions be maintained, including wearing masks and practicing physical distancing.

However, the government has decided to ease some existing restrictions, including allowing Friday prayers in major mosques from 28 August, and opening zoos, amusement parks, and other open spaces that require entrance fees, although at a reduced occupancy rate of 50 percent.

Mosques were first closed in March and had reopened in June for daily services only; Friday prayer services, which typically see high attendance, have so far not been permitted.

Mosques must enforce a certain amount of physical distancing between congregants, and masks are required.

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