Egypt reports highest daily COVID-19 cases, bans New Year celebrations

Egypt reports highest daily COVID-19 cases, bans New Year celebrations
Egypt’s daily novel coronavirus caseload has been increasing steadily in recent weeks. (File/AFP)
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Updated 23 December 2020

Egypt reports highest daily COVID-19 cases, bans New Year celebrations

Egypt reports highest daily COVID-19 cases, bans New Year celebrations
  • The increase came amid repeated warnings by the government about a second wave of the pandemic
  • Authorities have been urging people to take preventive measures, including wearing face masks

CAIRO: Egypt reported its highest daily confirmed cases in months, with over 911 confined cases and 42 fatalities, as authorities said New Year’s Eve celebrations would be canceled.
Health Minister Hala Zayed announced the numbers in a news conference in Cairo on Wednesday, which brought the county’s official tally to more than 127,970 COVID-19 cases including at least 7,209 deaths.
The increase came amid repeated warnings by the government about a second wave of the pandemic. Authorities have been urging people to take preventive measures, including wearing face masks and social distancing.
Minister Mustafa Madbouly said on Wednesday that his government would closely follow the measures to avoid a lockdown. The government said celebrations and other activities on New Year’s Eve are not allowed as part of their ongoing efforts to fight the pandemic.

Zayed added that Egypt is working to boost its supply of coronavirus vaccines as the number of recorded infections rises.
The country signed a contract to get vaccines developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) on Dec. 4 and is expecting further deliveries after receiving the first batch earlier this month, the minister told reporters.
Medical staff and people with chronic diseases would get priority, Zayed said, without giving details on the quantity of vaccines or timeframe. Local media reported that the first batch contained 50,000 doses.
"We are working with more companies to get the largest possible number of vaccines," said Zayed, noting that daily cases had been rising gradually since the end of October and more sharply this week.


Death toll now 130 in tribal conflict in Darfur

Death toll now 130 in tribal conflict in Darfur
Updated 7 min 21 sec ago

Death toll now 130 in tribal conflict in Darfur

Death toll now 130 in tribal conflict in Darfur

JEDDAH: The death toll in a new tribal conflict in Sudan rose to 130 on Monday as clashes in West Darfur spread south.
At least 47 people were killed in South Darfur after 83 died and tens of thousands were displaced in West Darfur in the previous two days. It was the worst violence since a peace agreement last October raised hopes of an end to years of war.
Sudan has been undergoing a fragile transition since the removal from power of dictator Omar Bashir in April 2019 after mass protests against his rule.
The new bloodshed followed the end of the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur on Dec. 31.
The aid group Save the Children warned: “In the chaos, we fear many children will have been separated from their parents, and will now be at risk of exploitation.” Its Sudan country director Arshad Malik said the many wounded had overwhelmed health centers, and injured and dying people were lying on the floors and corridors of hospitals.
“We call on all parties to the violence in West Darfur to lay down their arms immediately, before the situation gets out of control,” he said.
Authorities in Khartoum said they had sent a delegation to contain the situation. The UN secretary-general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric urged them to “bring an end to the fighting.”