Egyptian authorities confirm second wave of COVID-19

Egyptian authorities confirm second wave of COVID-19
A man wearing a protective face mask amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic walks in Cairo, Egypt November 23, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Updated 24 November 2020

Egyptian authorities confirm second wave of COVID-19

Egyptian authorities confirm second wave of COVID-19

CAIRO: Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed on Monday confirmed that the country is experiencing the start of a second wave of coronavirus infections.

The official confirmation came during her meeting with Bahaa El-Din Zidan, the head of the Unified Medical Procurement Authority, and Tamer Essam, head of the Egyptian Drug Authority, to discuss the availability of drugs and medical supplies required to treat infected patients. Essam said the authority is prepared to meet the increasing demand for COVID-19 treatments.

Khaled Mujahid, an adviser to the minister of health and population for media affairs, said that the participants in the meeting reviewed the inventory of medicines and other medical equipment.

“The minister emphasized the importance of providing medicines and medical supplies that Egypt (distributes) to various countries to support them in facing crises, in accordance with the directives of the political leadership,” he added.

Mujahid said the minister also discussed ways to address online sales of medications, which can put people’s health at risk. The public was urged only to obtain drugs and medical supplies from pharmacies or official healthcare providers.

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has ordered ongoing assessments of the readiness of hospitals across the country to receive coronavirus patients, and the availability of the drugs and equipment needed to treat them.

Ahmed El-Ezaby, chairman of Pharmaceutical Industry Chamber, said all medicines are available as usual in pharmacies and there have been no complaints of any shortages. Manufacturers have altered production schedules to meet current demands and have built up enough inventory of completed items, or the ingredients to make them, to last for between six and nine months, he added.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health on Sunday announced 351 new confirmed cases of infection and 13 additional deaths. The total number of coronavirus cases in the country stands at 113,027. Of those, 101,881 patients have recovered and 6,548 died. The remaining cases remain active.

 


Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs

Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs
This picture shows the Dome of the Rock at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Jerusalem's Old City on July 27, 2018, after the site was reopened. (AFP)
Updated 49 min 46 sec ago

Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs

Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs
  • Council set to denounce action that is ‘violation of understandings’

AMMAN: Israeli police have stopped workers from the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf from renovating the Dome of the Rock for two consecutive days, raising tensions in the old city.

Azzam Khatib, director of the Jordanian Waqf department in Jerusalem, informed Jordan’s Ambassador in Tel Aviv Ghassan Majali and Minister of Waqf in Amman Mohammed Khalaileh of the news.

Israeli officials claim the decision was made after an individual tried to renovate the ceiling of the Bab Al-Rahmeh mosque, which Israel has demanded Muslims to vacate, without reason.

The Jerusalem Waqf Council is expected to issue a strong statement denouncing the Israeli action, calling it a violation of understandings.

Bassam Hallaq, the Waqf engineer in charge of the renovation, said that Israeli police stopped work on the gold-plated Dome of the Rock on Saturday and Sunday, and prevented urgent electric work, too.

Israel insists that any renovation or repair must be pre-approved. The renovation is not structural.

Arab News has learned that the Israeli actions on Saturday and Sunday followed the efforts of an unknown Palestinian whose face was covered, who climbed the roof of the Bab Al-Rahmeh mosque in order to apply cement to stop leaks.

Israel has forbidden any repair work on the mosque.

Hallaq said that all repair work in the entire Al-Aqsa compound has also been suspended by Israel.

The mosque’s engineer insists that the Waqf has no cement materials inside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and that Friday was a holiday when staff did not work.

Sheikh Omar Kisswani, director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, told reporters that repairs to the entire 144 dunum Haram Al-Sharif/Al-Aqsa mosque compound were the right of the Islamic Waqf and that the Israeli police have no right to interfere in their work.

A spokesman for the Israeli police told Arab News that the “subject isn’t under the responsibility of the Israeli police.”