Egypt’s health minister urges dedication of Fridays to sanitise buildings and transport modes
Ahram Online, , Wednesday 18 Mar 2020
Stricter preventive measures are being adopted in the governorates with the highest numbers of infections


Egypt's health minister Hala Zayed called for designating Friday a weekly sanitisation day nationwide, as the country ramps up measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Zayed urged the dedication of Fridays to santising public places, governmental and private sector buildings, and means of transportation.

In an attempt to limit the spread of the pandemic, Egypt temporarily closed schools and universities, halted sporting events, imposed restrictions on the duration of prayers, and reduced the number of public sector employees needed to be in their offices.

The country is also halting air traffic from 19 to 31 March.

Strict preventive measures have been taken in tourist governorates, including Luxor, where dozens of people aboard a Nile cruiser tested positive, Aswan and South Sinai. The measures include placing all staff members at tourist facilities under quarantine for 14 days as of Tuesday, Zayed said on Wednesday.

The governorates will not receive domestic tourist groups for 14 days, and tourist sites and private and public facilities will be sanitised.

Precautionary measures taken in the governorates with the highest numbers of infections include self-isolation of people who were in contact with infected cases, the sanitisation of all public places, markets, and houses of worship, as well as stepping check-ups and awareness campaigns, Zayed added following a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.

All travellers coming from the Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia since the beginning of March are being self-quarantined for 14 days as a preventative measure, she added.

Egypt imported 27,000 quick-detection devices and 75,000 more are expected to be received.

Egypt detected 196 confirmed coronavirus cases. Six patients died, including three foreigners.

"The current crisis the world is undergoing is a good opportunity to spread public awareness and change the negative behaviours that compromise the health of individuals and society," the minister added.

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