Egypt detects 4 new cases of coronavirus, toll rises to 59

Ahram Online , Monday 9 Mar 2020

Three Egyptians and a foreign woman were in close contact with the previously confirmed cases in Egypt

Egyptian health workers check the body temerature of French tourists upon their arrival at the Luxor International Airport, some 680 kms south of the capital Cairo, on March 8, 2020. (AFP)

Egypt's health ministry announced late on Monday the detection of four new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 59 nationwide. 

Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said the new cases -- three Egyptians and a foreign woman -- were in close contact with the previously confirmed cases in the country.

Megahed revealed that 20 out of the 59 patients tested negative for the virus after receiving the necessary treatment and their condition is "quite stable". They are still being hospitalised, however, in accordance with the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. 

Egypt announced the first case of coronavirus on 14 February of a Chinese national who was later released and returned to his homeland after recovering.

Two weeks later, the second case was detected of a Canadian expat who works at an Egypt-based oil and gas company; the case was isolated to receive the necessary treatment and is still under observation.

Earlier this month, a 44-year-old Egyptian returnee had tested positive for the rapidly growing virus, recording the third case in the country and the first case of an Egyptian national. The third patient is in the isolation hospital and his condition has "slightly improved" on Sunday.

In a remarkable turnaround of the situation in Egypt, 45 cases caught the virus on board a Nile cruiser coming from Aswan to Luxor last week after being in contact with a Taiwanese-American tourist, who was aboard the ship and tested positive after returning home in late February.

Yesterday, the health ministry reported seven new coronavirus cases of three Egyptians and four foreigners, raising the number of confirmed cases on Sunday to 55.

The flu-like virus, which emerged in the Chinese city Wuhan late last year, has so far killed over 3,800 people, and infected more than 111,000 others. Most of the cases have so far been in China, although recent weeks have seen major new clusters develop in other spots.

Egypt's health ministry established a unit to investigate all possible contacts with confirmed coronavirus cases, calling upon all citizens to head to hospitals when they feel a rise in their temperature.

Egypt raised the alert level in hospitals, airports, and land ports, and suspended flight to many countries inflicted with the virus.

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