Egypt to resume exports of anti-virus products as infection rate falls

Egypt to resume exports of anti-virus products as infection rate falls
Egypt is to resume exporting alcohol products, facemasks, and other anti-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) medical supplies following a fall in the country’s infection rate. (File/AFP)
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Updated 17 September 2020

Egypt to resume exports of anti-virus products as infection rate falls

Egypt to resume exports of anti-virus products as infection rate falls
  • An immunology consultant said a high turnover of alcohol products and facemasks earlier in the year had declined in line with the drop in the number of COVID-19 cases
  • Egypt has been recording around 150 new cases of COVID-19 a day

CAIRO: Egypt is to resume exporting alcohol products, facemasks, and other anti-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) medical supplies following a fall in the country’s infection rate.
A decision to ban sales of the items used in fighting the virus pandemic was made in mid-March as the number of COVID-19 cases in Egypt surged.
But with new cases on the decline the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry has announced a lifting of the exports block.
A ministry statement said that Egypt’s trade minister, Nevine Gamea, had given the green light for exports of the products to resume following comprehensive checks with the relevant authorities that the country had sufficient stocks of the items to cover its internal needs.
Gamea pointed out that the government was keen to ensure it had all the necessary supplies in place to continue dealing with the health crisis while also maintaining exports of Egyptian goods such as alcohol and its by-products, medical items, and facemasks.
She said the state’s decision was aimed at preserving the health and safety of citizens while enhancing national economic growth.
Companies producing anti-COVID-19 medical supplies including N95 masks, all types of alcohol and related by-products, facemasks, protective suits, latex gloves, and face shields and glasses, could now start selling abroad again, the minister added.
Immunology consultant, Dr. Amgad El-Haddad, said a high turnover of alcohol products and facemasks earlier in the year had declined in line with the drop in the number of COVID-19 cases in Egypt (which currently stands at 101,500), leaving a supply surplus.
He added that the fall in the infection rate suggested the virus was gradually getting weaker, which was the nature of any pandemic, but he said Egyptians should continue to follow social distancing rules when out and about and wear facemasks.
Dr. Sherif Ezzat, head of the Chamber of Engineering Industries’ medical supplies unit, said Egypt’s production of anti-coronavirus products had been stepped up with 750,000 facemasks being made every day in contrast to 250,000 before the pandemic, and a similar trend applied to alcohol products.
In order to help get infections down to zero, he added that it was important for people to still adhere to precautionary measures.
Egypt has been recording around 150 new cases of COVID-19 a day with the recovery rate and the number of patients being discharged from hospitals on the rise.