File photo: Egypt's health minister Hala Zayed
Egypt announced the detection of 69 new coronavirus cases and six new fatalities on Wednesday, according to the country's health ministry.
The total number of infections has reached 779 nationwide, while the death toll stands at 52.
The first coronavirus case in Egypt was discovered in mid-February, almost two months after the deadly virus first surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Ministry spokesman Khaled Megad said that all the fatalities were 5 Egyptian citizens and one Jordanian man.
The 69 new coronavirus patients are also Egyptians, who had come in contact with the cases detected earlier, in addition to returnees from abroad.
The spokesman said that 22 more cases – all Egyptians except for one Malaysian woman – have fully recovered and left the isolation hospitals on Wednesday.
The number of people whose test results have turned from positive to negative so far has risen to 221, among whom 179 have fully recovered and discharged from the isolation hospitals, Megahed said.
Egypt has prepared 27 hospitals nationwide to treat coronavirus patients, and six of these hospitals are currently being used to treat those infected with the virus, with an occupancy rate of 50 to 60 percent.
In a video message published on the ministry’s official Facebook page on Wednesday, Health Minister Hala Zayed said that according to the data analysis of the outbreak in Egypt, the most affected age group by the virus has been those aged between 50 to 59, representing 22 percent of the total infections.
Zayed added that 94 percent of people killed by the coronavirus in Egypt have been over 50 and all had chronic diseases or tumors.
She also noted that 61 percent of those infected have been males and 39 percent females, while children under 10 years old constitute only 2 percent.
Zayed added that the average period of hospitalisation from initial admission to full recovery has been eight days, underscoring that the epidemiological situation in Egypt is stable compared to the global situation.
The minister called on Egyptians returning from abroad and all those who have been in contact with people who have tested positive to follow the health ministry’s guidelines, at the top of which is remaining in self-isolation for 14 days.
Egypt has grounded international flights until mid-April as part of strict measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, but the country has since operated several exceptional flights to bring home nationals stranded overseas provided that they undergo 28-day quarantine.
A nationwide nighttime curfew also is in effect daily from 7 pm to 6 am until 7 April.