Egyptian doctors check a patient's lung X-ray at the infectious diseases unit of the Imbaba hospital in the capital Cairo, on April 19,2020, during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. (AFP)
Egypt’s health ministry announced on Sunday the detection of 272 new coronavirus cases in the country and the deaths of 14 people from the contagion.
The total number of infections nationwide has risen to 6,456, while the total death toll stands at 429.
The statement added that 40 coronavirus patients have been discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,562 so far.
The number of people who have retested negative, including the 1,562 recoveries, has now reached 2,041, according to health ministry spokesmen Khaled Megahed.
The rate of coronavirus cases in Egypt has seen a surge since Friday, when the highest single-day toll was reported with 358 new positive coronavirus cases.
The country hit the 1,000-case mark on 4 April and surpassed the 6,000-case mark on 2 May.
The government has indicated that it will ease restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the virus after the Eid Al-Fitr religious holiday, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan on 23 May.
A number of sweeping measures have been imposed since March in a bid to contain the pandemic after the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Egypt on 14 February, almost two months after the virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Some lockdown measures have already been lifted with the partial resumption of some government services.
Combating the virus
Egypt has started a three-level strategy to prepare 34 fever and pulmonology hospitals countrywide to serve as isolation facilities for coronavirus patients. The hospitals will be tasked with providing check-up, diagnosis, quarantine, and treatment, in addition to carrying out scientific research.
The strategy is part of the country's plan to live with the virus as per the guidelines of the World Health Organisation, which has said that the whole world will have to live with the reality of the virus, said the minister.
The country started its first steps to confront the deadly virus by dedicating 14 isolation hospitals for coronavirus cases, in addition to 47 fever hospitals and 35 pulmonology hospitals for triage and the referral of patients.
Health Minister Hala Zayed has urged all Egyptians to wear medical masks on public transport as well as in hotels and restaurants and to maintain social distancing, especially for seniors, pregnant women, and those with chronic diseases.
Zayed pointed out that the ministry has contracted to bring in additional coronavirus detection kits.