Egypt's health ministry reported Wednesday 910 new coronavirus infections, the highest single-day increase announced to date, bringing the country’s total number of confirmed cases to 19,666.
Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement that the new cases were detected through the ministry’s investigation and contact tracing protocols.
The statement added that the total number of COVID-19 deaths has now reached 816 nationwide, after announcing 19 deaths today.
Megahed also said that 178 Egyptians have fully recovered and left isolation hospitals on Wednesday, which brings the total number of recoveries from the virus so far to 5,205.
The number of people whose test results have turned from positive to negative, including the recoveries, has now reached 5,798.
In a bid to contain the virus and stop gatherings that could spread the contagion, the cabinet has imposed more stern measures during Eid El-Fitr religious holiday, which began last Sunday and lasts till Friday.
The nationwide curfew, in place since 25 March, begins at 5 pm during the holiday and will be effective from 8 pm to 6 am starting 30 May for two weeks, marking the gradual reopening of a country heavily affected by the pandemic's repercussions.
Unlike their permanent closure during the holiday, malls and shops will be allowed to reopen all week until 5pm as of next Saturday.
Egypt's first case was confirmed on 14 February. While it has taken the respiratory virus 50 days to reach 1,000 detected infections nationwide on 4 April, it only took 24 hours to move from 18,000 cases, which was surpassed on Tuesday to 19,000.
Despite the steadily rising infection rate in the last few days, officials expect the numbers to increase by the end of this week.
Last Thursday, Egypt’s Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar said the number of cases is expected to reach 20,000 by the end of this week.
However, Abdel-Ghaffar argued that the real number of coronavirus cases is likely higher than the number of cases officially detected, according to a hypothetical model, as "the real number of coronavirus infections in Egypt could be over 71,000."
The minister added that while the number of detected cases could reach 20,000 by the end of the May, the hypothetical model indicates that the real number could reach 100,000.