Egyptian Cabinet’s Spokesman Nader Saad said ventilator use nationwide has increased to 42 percent in hospitals due to the dramatic rise in coronavirus cases over the past days. He expected the number of cases to double in a week or less.
Saad’s remarks come shortly after Minister of Health Hala Zayed officially announced the start of the second coronavirus wave in Egypt in a press conference she held earlier on Wednesday.
In statements to Ala Masoliety TV program on Wednesday night, Saad said the number of cases doubled in two weeks and will likely increase due to negligence towards preventive measures.
The health ministry has allocated 363 hospitals for quarantining coronavirus patients, the same number during the peak of the first wave, Saad said.
The majority of the new cases suffer from mild symptoms and respond to home treatment, Saad said, adding that the percentage of ventilator use sharply increased due to the presence of cases with chronic diseases or older people as well.
During the weekly cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced cancelling all forms of mass celebrations in public places on New Year’s Eve.
Saad affirmed that any hotels that may hold new year celebrations, in violation of the cabinet’s decision, will receive penalties, including cancelling their licenses.
In order to make fines on violating preventive procedures against coronavirus more effective, the state will collect them immediately instead of sending them to the prosecution then to court, Saad added.
Wearing masks will remain obligatory in all closed places, including government institutions, banks, malls, shops, as well as public and private transportation like buses, taxis, and other means, Saad said.
People walking in the streets or driving their own vehicles are not obliged to wear masks, he added.
Saad urged citizens to abide by the preventive measures so that the increase in cases stops.
Following the cabinet meeting, Zayed stated that Egypt registered 911 cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, 123 more than Tuesday’s 788 cases.
Zayed also added that 42 coronavirus fatalities were recorded nationwide in the past 24 hours.
The minister requested that citizens head to the nearest hospitals in the event that they are infected and not to specific hospitals in order not to cause over crowdedness in those hospitals.
A list of coronavirus isolation designated hospitals is going to be released in each governorate, she said.