Egypt resumes flights to 14 international destinations, including Paris, New York and Sharjah

Egypt has announced the resumption of 14 new international flights daily to the capitals of the world that had been suspended due to the coronavirus. (EgyptAir Twitter)
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Updated 17 July 2020

Egypt resumes flights to 14 international destinations, including Paris, New York and Sharjah

  • EgyptAir also plans on allocating spaces for people with chronic diseases
  • The last two rows in the plane will be allocated to isolating passengers who may have symptoms

CAIRO: Egypt has announced the resumption of 14 new international flights, not including domestic flights and air cargo flights, daily to the capitals of the world that had been suspended due to the coronavirus.
EgyptAir, the national carrier of Egypt, said in a statement that the flights will be to Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Milan, London, Juba, Amman, New York, Sharjah and Tunisia in addition to two flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
EgyptAir said that passengers will be told about the Covid-19 measures of each country they travel to in advance, and the safety and protective measures that must be taken while traveling on EgyptAir flights.
They will also be urged to reserve their tickets through the company website, where they will also be made aware of any changes in the operating schedule.
EgyptAir has drawn up a precautionary plan in cooperation with the authorities for the prevention of the coronavirus. The plan covers the stages of travel before, during and after the flight’s arrival. Some of the measures include installing filters in the air conditioners of all EgyptAir aircraft that can capture up to 99 percent of viruses, microbes and bacteria, and making sure all crew members wear face masks and gloves.
EgyptAir also plans on allocating spaces for people with chronic diseases and those who are unable to wear face masks for long periods, as well as allocating the last two rows in the plane to isolate passengers who may have symptoms.
Roshdy Zakaria, president of the Holding Company for EgyptAir, said in a statement: “We are pleased to receive our customers on a national and international level as we start operating our flights with all preventive measures to reduce the coronavirus. This starts from the passengers entering the airport all the way until they reach their destinations.”
Zakaria said that he hoped the coronavirus pandemic would end soon and for the return of flight traffic and operating schedules to their previous state as soon as possible. He added that he wanted people to enjoy the travel experience again, “as air travel remains the best way in the world in terms of safety and security.”
Amr Abu El-Enein, president of EgyptAir Airlines, highlighted to the company’s customers the importance of following the preventive instructions and travel advice to enjoy a safe trip.
Abu El-Enein stressed the importance of not reserving in person if possible, and instead going through the Egyptair.com website, the 1717 phone booking service or the mobile applications that the company provides in order to save time and effort and ensure the prevention of disease.
He also announced that the company was offering a 20 percent discount on many European destinations and to New York and Washington if tickets were purchased before Aug. 31.
Abu Al-Enein said that the gradual return of air traffic in Egypt, which started on July 1 and continues until now, is something that must be applauded, and will contribute to the return of normal life in Egypt. He said that the number of recent tourists showed that Egypt was safe in terms of security or health wise.


Debate rages over Turkey’s surging pandemic numbers

Pedestrians, wearing face masks, walk in a street of Ankara on November 20, 2020. (AFP)
Updated 24 November 2020

Debate rages over Turkey’s surging pandemic numbers

  • 20% of Israeli travelers to Turkey in October tested positive for coronavirus on their return
  • No PCR test is required now in Turkish airports for the passengers entering the country. It is a very big mistake

ANKARA: Unofficial sources have warned that numbers of COVID-19 cases in Turkey are skyrocketing.

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) estimated that daily COVID-19 cases have risen to more than 47,500, of which about 12,500 are in Istanbul. This would represent a 300 percent increase in November compared to the month before.

According to official data, however, Turkey recorded 5,103 new COVID-19 patients on Nov. 20 — the second highest new daily figure since March — and its highest daily death toll with 141 fatalities.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu announced that 186 people died from “infectious diseases” in the city on Nov. 22 — more than the official countrywide death toll. (The Turkish health ministry is accused of classifying some COVID-related deaths as "infection-related deaths")

The TTB, whose data drew on figures from 1,270 medics in 76 provinces, claimed that someone in Turkey dies from COVID-19 every 10 minutes. It declared that “they have lost control of the pandemic.”

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca previously admitted that they do not include everyone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the number of daily cases — they only count those who show symptoms. Following this admission Turkey was put on the UK’s quarantine-on-arrival list in early October.

BACKGROUND

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca previously admitted that they do not include everyone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the number of daily cases — they only count those who show symptoms.

Reports drawing on Israeli health ministry data say that 20 percent of Israeli travelers to Turkey in October tested positive for coronavirus on their return home, which experts consider a worryingly high figure.

Everyone arriving in Israel is obliged to self-isolate for 14 days. There is no such an obligation in Turkey.

“The countries which prove successful in managing the pandemic are those that apply strict quarantine rules and rigorously regulate arrivals in the country. But this is not the case in Turkey nowadays,” said Guner Sonmez, a radiologist from Uskudar University in Istanbul.

“Only one case can again trigger a whole chain of contagion and begin a new wave of pandemic. However, no PCR test is required now in Turkish airports for the passengers who enter the country. It is a very big mistake for managing the dynamics of the pandemic.”

Turkey recently re-introduced a partial evening curfew and restrictions on the weekends, although scientists have been urging a full 14-day lockdown.