Egypt reports 39 new coronavirus cases, 7 recoveries

A picture taken on on March 25, 2020 shows Egypt's Salah Salem main road in the capital Cairo on the first evening of a two-week long night-time curfew imposed by the authorities to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 March 2020

Egypt reports 39 new coronavirus cases, 7 recoveries

  • Egypt’s total number of deaths has reached 24

DUBAI: Egypt’s health ministry has reported 39 new coronavirus cases and three deaths, bringing the total number of infected patients to 495, UAE’s state news agency WAM reported on Friday.

The infected cases are one Libyan and 38 Egyptian nationals who were in contact with coronavirus patients. The ministry has also confirmed seven new recoveries which brings the total number of recoveries in the country to 102.

Egypt’s total number of deaths has reached 24.


New board of directors appointed to run Lebanon’s ‘corrupt’ state power company

Updated 40 min 19 sec ago

New board of directors appointed to run Lebanon’s ‘corrupt’ state power company

  • Regulation of electricity sector a key condition of international bailout for collapsing economy

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s government finally appointed a new board of directors on Tuesday to control the state-owned electricity company.
Electricite du Liban (EDL) has long been mired in allegations of corruption and fraud. Its annual losses of up to $2 billion a year are the biggest single drain on state finances as Lebanon faces economic collapse and the plunging value of its currency.
Reform of the electricity sector has been a key demand of the International Monetary Fund and potential donor states before they will consider a financial bailout.
“Lebanon’s electricity policy has been inefficient and ineffective for decades — always on the brink of collapse, but staying afloat with last minute patchwork solutions,” said Kareem Chehayeb of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington, DC.
“The economic crisis has made fuel imports more expensive, causing a shortage, with external generator providers hiking their prices or seeking business in Syria. It is a wake-up call to decades of overspending and poor planning of a basic public service.”
The World Bank has described the electricity sector in Lebanon as “tainted with corruption and waste,” and the IMF said “canceling the subsidy to electricity is the most important potential saving in spending.”
Electricity rationing was applied for the first time to hospitals and the law courts, but Minister of Energy Raymond Ghajar said: “The first vessel loaded with diesel for power plants has arrived, and as of Wednesday the power supply will improve.”
Prime Minister Hassan Diab promised the Lebanese people on Tuesday that they would see the results of government efforts to resolve the country’s financial chaos “in the coming weeks.”
Addressing a Cabinet meeting, Diab said: “The glimmer of hope is growing.” However, the appointment of an  EDF board of directors was criticized by opposition politicians. Former prime minister Najib Mikati said the appointments meant “the crime of wrong prevailing over right … is being repeated.”