Egypt's Sisi urges preparation for second wave of pandemic ahead of academic year

Ahram Online , Sunday 4 Oct 2020

El-Sisi's instructions were given during a meeting on Sunday with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Health Minister Hala Zayed, and Presidential Adviser for Health Affairs Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (Reuters)

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi urged the country's health sector to be ready to confront any possible second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly with the new school year fast approaching; Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Rady said in a statement on Sunday.

El-Sisi also ordered all education sector officials to provide the utmost possible level of safety for pupils, and to guarantee the regularity of the educational process.

Public educational activities will be resumed in Egypt —for schools and universities— on 17 October, after seven-months' suspension due to the virus, with the implementation of a hybrid education model aimed at reducing the density of students inside classes and halls.

Egypt has, so far, reported 103,575 Coronavirus cases, 5,970 deaths, and 97,274 recoveries, with relatively few daily numbers reported over the past two months.

However, Egyptian officials have been advising caution in anticipation of any spike, especially with the resurgence of the virus in many European countries after successfully curtailing the contagion over the past months.

El-Sisi demanded that all citizens and families exercise awareness and caution in these trying times, the statement added.

El-Sisi's instructions were given during a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Health Minister Hala Zayed, and Presidential Adviser for Health Affairs Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din.

Zayed informed El-Sisi of the latest developments concerning the outbreak nationwide and the state's efforts to control it, including performing the phase 3 clinical trials for a potential Coronavirus vaccine.

The phase 3 clinical trials for a Chinese-made Coronavirus vaccine are currently taking place in Egypt in tandem with 100 other countries.

The Health Minister also reviewed quarantine procedures and medical screening at airports and seaports in touristic destinations.

As part of the country's plan to coexist with the outbreak, tourist groups have been allowed entry into three coastal Egyptian governorates: South Sinai, the Red Sea, and Matrouh since July.

The meeting also discussed the preventative measures that will be taken during the events Egypt is going to play host to in the near future, such as the parliamentary elections and the Handball World Championship.

The elections are scheduled to take place later this month, while the handball tournament is scheduled for January 2021.

The meeting also reviewed the procedures taken by the concerned bodies regarding a project that involves the assemblage and manufacturing of blood plasma derivatives in cooperation with foreign experts, including the results of studies related to establishing blood collecting centres across the country, Rady added.

The president called for all projects to be at the highest level of international standards to ensure the health and safety of Egyptian citizens.

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