The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, currently striking several countries globally, is more widespread and dangerous than the first one," said Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly at a virtual cabinet meeting on Wednesday, as he urged the importance of "avoiding the slipping into this risky curve."
According to a statement released by the cabinet following the meeting, Madbouly reiterated the importance of abiding by the virus-related preventative measures in different workplaces amid a spike in the infections rate that the country has been witnessing since early November.
He called for tightening inspection campaigns on venues that flout the precautionary measures and imposing the penalties prescribed in the law alongside the decisions issued by the country's cabinet in this regard.
Egypt has made wearing facemasks in public places mandatory since 30 May, with violators facing hefty fines of up to EGP 4,000. This month, the government decided to shut facilities that do not comply with the precautionary measures for three days.
He also urged on reducing crowding at public workplaces, giving governmental entities and ministries discretion and flexibility to determine, upon work conditions, the needed number of employees, taking into account those with chronic diseases.
Earlier this month, Madbouly warned that the country will exercise “zero tolerance” against people or facilities that fail to adhere to preventive measures against the pandemic. The government repeated warnings as the general public has been showing relaxed enforcement of the preventive measures since a drop in coronavirus cases had been recorded in the past few months.
However, concerns about seeing a second wave of the pandemic have been growing domestically, with a slight increase in the daily coronavirus infection toll recorded over the two weeks following three months of a low and steady rate hovering around the 100-150 mark.
A day earlier, the country recorded the highest tally since late July, with 275 new infections and 16 deaths, according to the health ministry’s daily bulletins.
Several steps have been taken recently tby the state to address the recent rise, including fining those who do not wear facemasks on public transport or in crowded places, and shutting non-compliant places for three days, as well as preventing the holding weekly street markets, and launching inspection campaigns on operational hotels to make sure they meet all health requirements.
The virus has so far infected 111,284 people and caused the death of 6,481 others, since the outbreak began in February.