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Egypt's PM urges caution to avoid second wave of coronavirus

Egypt has been recording daily infection tallies of less than 200 cases amid remarks by a number of officials expecting infections to reach zero soon

Ahram Online , Wednesday 26 Aug 2020
Mostafa Madbouly
Egypt' prime minister Mostafa Madbouly (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly called for exercising caution to avoid a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, a cabinet statement said on Wednesday.

Madbouly said Egypt will maintain the same preventive measures against the deadly disease, particularly with the advent of Autumn.

"The noticeable increase in the number of infections recently prompts us to [exercise] caution, and to maintain the strict precautionary measures and penalties for violators to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus and avoid an increase in the curve of infections and deaths as happened in some countries," the statement quoted Madbouly as saying during the cabinet's weekly meeting.

He ordered medical services at triage and isolation hospitals nationwide be pursued by infected people.

Egypt recorded a slight increase in the daily tally of coronavirus infections after the lowest daily toll in four months was reached on Saturday with only 89 cases.

In the following three days 103, 138, 141 new cases were recorded, respectively.

Egypt has been recording daily infection tallies of less than 200 cases amid remarks by a number of officials expecting infections to reach zero soon.

During the meeting, health minister Hala Zayed reviewed the measures to be adopted in light of the increase in infections.

"The occurrence of a second wave is necessarily associated with a false sense of safety among people that the epidemic is over," the minister added.

Zayed said the presidential health initiatives including treating people with chronic diseases will be intensified.

The minister demanded the public and state institutions maintain strict precautions to prevent a second wave of the pandemic which may force the state to reinstate tough measures to ensure people's commitment to the precautions.

The minister added a coronavirus vaccine will not prevent the transmission of the virus but will decrease the rate of infection and reduce the severity of the symptoms.

Zayed warned people's non-compliance with the preventive measures and not wearing face masks in public transport modes may cause a resurgence in the rate of infections and lead to a second wave of the pandemic.

She called for maintaining surveillance on checkpoints, highways, cities, and means of public transport to make sure people wear their face masks.

The minister said the measures include conducting polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on drivers of cargo trucks and their assistants to facilitate their entrance to countries that request the test.

She stressed the importance of banning travellers arriving in Egypt from entering the country without a negative PCR lab test result.

Egypt has so far recorded a total of 97,619 coronavirus cases since the outbreak began in February, including 5,298 deaths and 67,717 recoveries.

Egypt has been recording daily infection tallies of less than 1,000 new cases since 9 July.

The daily toll dropped below the 200-case threshold starting early August. 

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