Two Egyptians wearing face masks amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) walk in front of the closed Sayyida Zainab Mosque in Cairo, Egypt (photo: Reuters)
The regional office of the World Health Organisation affirmed, on Wednesday, that the new strain of the coronavirus has not been reported in Egypt, state-owned news agency MENA said.
Various countries — including Spain, Finland, and Sweden — have recently reported infections from the new strain that was first detected in the U.K.
Egypt, which is currently facing the second wave of the pandemic, has been witnessing a rebound of daily infections since November.
On Tuesday, Egypt continued to record a daily infection rate above the 1000-case threshold for the sixth day in a row, with 1,333 new infections reported, bringing the total infection tally nationwide since the outbreak began in February to 135,233.
According to Wagida Anwar, a member of the Supreme Committee for Viruses at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the number of coronavirus cases in Egypt is expected to reach its peak during the second wave in late January.
As of Sunday, a number of measures will be taken to curb the spread of the virus, including the imposition of an immediate EGP 50 fine for not wearing masks in public.
The government also banned all New Year’s Eve celebrations and maintained restrictions on occupancy for hotels, restaurants, and cafes.
In November, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly stressed that the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic “is more widespread and dangerous than the first,” reaffirming the necessity for citizens to adhere to precautionary measures to curb the spread of the virus and stressing the need for all concerned bodies to strictly apply protective measures in workplaces and production sites.
In light of the public’s noticeable non-compliance with preventative measures, he reiterated that the country “will exercise zero tolerance” against people or facilities that fail to adhere to preventive measures against the pandemic.