Egypt records a surge in coronavirus cases in May

Egypt's Minister of Social Solidarity Nevin el-Qabbaj wears a mask during a news conference of Egyptian Food Bank to announce transportation of food aid boxes to all governorates for people that lost their jobs because of the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Cairo, Egypt May 2, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Updated 10 May 2020

Egypt records a surge in coronavirus cases in May

  • Egypt is near the peak of the virus infection, according to Dr. Hossam Hosny, head of the Anti-Coronavirus Scientific Committee at the Ministry of Health

CAIRO: The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Egypt has jumped in the first week of May, rising from about 300 cases on the first day of the month to 495 recorded on May 8. Egypt has so far recorded 8,476 cases and 503 deaths.
Dr. Amgad El-Haddad, the head of the Allergy and Immunology Department at the Egyptian Institute for Vaccine and Serum (VACSERA), said that the rising number of infections is due to the “reckless behavior of people” regarding protective measures against the pandemic. He said this was the direct result of “the people’s lack of awareness, especially concerning gatherings and crowded places that we saw before Ramadan.”
“There are two challenges in the upcoming period: The first is Eid Al-Fitr holidays when people are expected to go out in large numbers to markets for shopping,” Dr. El-Haddad said. “The second challenge will come on June 1 which marks the implementation of the government’s decision to coexist with the coronavirus.”
Egypt is near the peak of the virus infection, according to Dr. Hossam Hosny, head of the Anti-Coronavirus Scientific Committee at the Ministry of Health. Hosny said the reason behind the recent surge in infections was due to the fact that people were violating the curfew restrictions.
“We have actually reached the beginning of the peak and we hope to further, cooperate with the people to reach a level of stability, after which the decline phase would begin soon,” he said.

Egypt is near the peak of the virus infection

Dr. Hossam Honsy, Health Ministry

“I don’t blame the people for the surging numbers but still, we need strict penalties if the curfew is violated.”
Ministry of Health spokesman Khaled Megahed stressed the need to adhere to social distancing, minimize socializing, and commit to preventive measures, in addition to drinking more fluids from iftar (breaking fast) to sahoor (last meal before dawn), and following a healthy diet to boost the immune system.
Megahed called on the public to change some of their habits such as excessive shopping and gatherings, and to leave home only when necessary. He said people should follow all precautionary measures by wearing face masks and constantly washing hands or spraying them with alcohol to avoid infections, especially during the last two weeks of Ramadan and before Eid Al-Fitr.
Megahed called on those who show coronavirus symptoms to go immediately to the nearest cardio-thoracic or fever hospital to receive the necessary medical treatment.

 


Turkey, Greece agree to resume talks to resolve disputes

Updated 22 September 2020

Turkey, Greece agree to resume talks to resolve disputes

  • Erdogan called for a regional conference that would gather all sides involved in the dispute — including Turkish Cypriots
  • The two neighboring NATO members have been locked in a tense standoff over energy exploitation rights

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey and Greece are ready to resume talks in a bid to overcome a dispute over maritime boundaries and rights to exploit oil and gas resources, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office said Tuesday.
The statement followed his video conference meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel.
During the meeting, Erdogan called for a regional conference that would gather all sides involved in the dispute — including Turkish Cypriots — and said the “momentum” for dialogue should be protected,” according to the statement.
The two neighboring NATO members have been locked in a tense standoff over energy exploitation rights in an area between Turkey’s southern coast, several Greek islands and the war-divided island of Cyprus. Turkey sent a research vessel into the disputed waters this summer.
Following mediation efforts by Germany and others, Turkey pulled back the research vessel to port and both countries eased their naval presence and halted military exercises, paving the way for a dialogue.
It was not clear when and how the talks would begin. Erdogan told Merkel and Michel that “steps to be taken by Greece” would determine the course of the talks.
Greek-Turkish talks to resolve disputes were last held in 2016.
The Turkish leader also said he hoped that the next European Union summit would breathe new life into Turkish-EU ties, including allowing Turkish citizens visa-free travel rights to Europe and sealing a new agreement on migration.
EU members Greece and Cyprus had been pushing for EU sanctions against Turkey at the Sept. 24-25 summit meeting to due Turkey’s search for energy inside Cyprus’ economic zone. But the summit has been postponed for a week because Michel has gone into quarantine after a close collaborator was diagnosed with COVID-19.