Egypt records 227 new coronavirus cases, bringing total to 4,319

Ahmed Morsy , Saturday 25 Apr 2020

Health Ministry said that 39 Egyptians fully recovered and left isolation hospitals on Saturday, which brings the total number of recoveries from the virus so far to 1,114

An Egyptian doctor checks a patient
An Egyptian doctor checks a patient's lung X-ray at the infectious diseases unit of the Imbaba hospital in the capital Cairo, on April 19,2020, during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. (AFP)

Egypt's health ministry reported 227 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the country’s total number of confirmed cases to 4,319.

The ministry said in a statement that the total number of COVID-19 deaths has now reached 307 nationwide, with 13 new fatalities today.

Health ministry spokesmen Khaled Megahed said in the statement that the newly-detected 227 cases are all Egyptians and were detected through the ministry’s investigation and contact tracing protocols.

Megahed also said that 39 Egyptians fully recovered and left isolation hospitals on Saturday, which brings the total number of recoveries from the virus so far to 1,114.

The number of people whose test results have turned from positive to negative, including the recoveries, has now reached 1,450.

According to Health Minister Hala Zayed, Egypt has carried out 200,000 rapid diagnostic tests for coronavirus and 90,000 polymerase chain reaction analyses through 27 central laboratories nationwide.

According to the statement, Zayed said the 27 labs have a total staff capacity of up to 900 individuals, including doctors, pharmacists, chemists, lab technicians, and administrators. They have been linked together via an electronic network to ensure the speedy arrival of results and the complete confidentiality of data.

The ministry recently introduced a new mobile application titled Egypt Health, as well as launched a WhatsApp messaging service (01553105105) and designated two hotlines (105 and 15335) to answer citizens' inquiries about the coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

Starting 24 April, the beginning of the Muslim month of Ramadan, the start of the nighttime curfew was pushed back to 9pm instead of 8pm.

In the ministry’s statement, Minister Zayed thanked medical staff at the ministry's fever hospitals for their efforts in combating the coronavirus.

The minister said that fever hospitals have received more than 900,000 sick people, whether suffering from coronavirus or other conditions, with an average daily frequency of more than 15,000 patients since the emergence of the virus in Egypt.

The first case of COVID-19 in Egypt was confirmed on 14 February 2020.

Zayed said that the country’s 47 fever hospitals, which are equipped with 4,258 beds including 227 ICU beds, are sorting out pathological cases, taking swabs and providing medical care in accordance with the updated treatment protocol.

"These [fever] hospitals are gradually being prepared to serve as isolation hospitals,” the minister said, adding that the hospitals will be conducting tests, diagnosing cases, providing treatment, following up on cases after recovery and discharge, and conducting scientific research.

Fifty training sessions have been held on infection control standards and protocols for dealing with suspected and infected cases of coronavirus, the minister said.

Zayed also thanked the employees of the General Administration of Quarantine at Egypt's airports and ports for their efforts in examining about half-a-million citizens coming from abroad from mid-January till international flights were suspended on 19 March.

"The Ministry of Health has received 3,229 Egyptians who were stranded in a number of countries after flights were suspended,” she said.

Egypt began in March bringing back hundreds of its nationals stranded in various countries owing to the pandemic, and it has decided to quarantine all the repatriated citizens.

On Wednesday, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said that Egypt is committed to repatriating an estimated 3,500 Egyptians stranded abroad at the earliest opportunity.

"I assure all Egyptians [stranded abroad] who are listening to me, even if our circumstances are difficult, we will not leave you. As a state, we are obligated to bring home all stranded Egyptians, who are estimated at 3,500 citizens or slightly more, as soon as possible," El-Sisi said.

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