Two Egyptians wearing face masks amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) walk in front of the closed Sayyida Zainab Mosque near markets that sell traditional lanterns in Cairo, Egypt, April 12, 2020 (photo: REUTERS)
Egypt detected 298 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 6,193 confirmed cases nationwide, a statement by the health ministry said.
The ministry also reported nine new deaths, bringing the total deaths from the virus to 415.
The statement said that 62 Egyptians have been discharged, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,522 so far.
Health ministry spokesmen Khaled Megahed said in the statement that the number of people whose test results have turned from positive to negative, including the 1,522 recoveries, has now reached 1,970.
Egypt surpassed 1,000 coronavirus cases on 4 April, with infections continuing to rise despite lockdown restrictions imposed since March to stem the spread of the virus in the populous country. The first case of COVID-19 in Egypt was confirmed on 14 February, seven weeks prior to surpassing the milestone of 1,000 infections.
Saturday’s toll comes one day after Egypt reported on Friday 358 new positive coronavirus cases, the highest single-day toll.
Minister of Health Hala Zayed told MBC Masr satellite channel on Friday that the recent rise in the number of coronavirus cases is still within expected levels, and that the cases detected on Friday were the result of more than 6,000 PCR tests.
Zayed attributed the recent increase in the number of cases to people’s behaviour outside curfew hours, especially during the two weeks that preceded Ramadan.
According to the minister, people’s visits to markets decreased by 40 percent after the crisis first started. However, during the two weeks preceding Ramadan, people frequented markets only 11 percent less than normal, which means that people were going out more.
She also emphasised that the situation in Egypt is still safe as long as the week’s numbers are not double those of the previous week.
According to the ministry's statistics, 27-30 percent of those killed by the virus die before reaching isolation hospitals, and 31 percent die within the first four days at the hospital.
The minister said people have to adapt to the presence of coronavirus until a vaccine is found. People can go out but they should maintain social distancing, the minister noted.