A man wearing a protective face mask walks near a granite symbol hand of peace, amid concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, Egypt April 22, 2020. (Reuters)
Egypt's coronavirus cases continued to rise after recording 269 new infections on Thursday, up nine cases from the highest infections toll reported on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections to 5, 537 nationwide.
The country's health ministry also declared 12 fatalities. The total death toll has reached 392.
The newly detected cases -- including three foreigners --have been detected through the ministry's investigation and contact tracing protocols in accordance with the World Health Organisation's guidelines.
Meanwhile, 46 Egyptians have fully recovered and have been discharged from quarantine hospitals, bringing the total number of fully recovered patients to 1,381.
The number of patients whose PCR tests changed from positive to negative has become 1,780, including the recoveries.
Last week, Egypt shortened the night-time curfew by one hour for Ramadan, amending curfew hours to begin at 9pm instead of 8pm.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly warned last week that the number of infections is expected to rise, yet he assured the public that the government is still able to contain the virus.
If the rate of infections surges significantly and gets “out of control,” however, the government will take immediate measures that will be stricter than those currently in place, he said.
Earlier this week, Egypt's presidential health adviser Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din said the current infection rate and the death toll in Egypt remain within predictions, adding that the rising curve of infections is expected to continue until it levels off.
He said that finding a vaccine for the virus would take at least nine months.
Tag El-Din noted that the coronavirus will not completely disappear and will become a chronic disease like influenza and swine flu after the world manages to curb its swift spread.
The health ministry announced on Thursday it has started trials on plasma collected from donors who recovered from the coronavirus to test whether plasma can be an effective treatment for patients who are severely ill with the disease.