Egypt’s Parliament secretary-general Mahmoud Fawzi has revealed that MP Omar Watany has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), to be the second parliamentarian who contracted the virus.
Fawzi told reporters on Saturday that Watany is receiving treatment at a private hospital and he is in a stable condition.
The first infection in the parliament was MP Shereen Farag, who recovered and left the hospital a week ago. About 12 other MPs were in contact with Farag, according to earlier remarks by Parliament Deputy Speaker Soliman Wahdan.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health reported on Saturday 1,367 new COVID-19 cases and 34 new deaths, raising the country’s total confirmed cases to 23,449 and 913 deaths. Up to 5,693 cases have recovered.
Health Minister Hala Zayed said in a TV interview that they cannot determine if Egypt is now witnessing the peak of coronavirus, adding that the reasons behind the high increase of coronavirus infections during the last two days were “crowdedness ahead of Eid El-Fitr, and that people did not wear face masks.”
Zayed noted during her inspection tour that included Sahel Teaching Hospital and Mataria Teaching Hospital, that “more than 10,000 PCR tests were conducted to medical workers,” adding that 20 beds at each quarantine hospitals have been allocated for healthcare workers.
Zayed added in a statement that the ministry expanded in the number of general and central hospital which offer testing and treatment for coronavirus infections to be 376 hospitals.
Zayed noted that 5,400 of health units and 1,000 medical convoys have been launched across the country to distribute medicine and personal protective supplies.
On the other hand, the Suez Health Directorate announced on Saturday 11 new coronavirus infections in the governorate, while North Sinai Health Directorate detected a new coronavirus infection in Bir El Abd city.
On Friday, the Egyptian Nursing Syndicate announced the ninth coronavirus-related death of a nurse. Magda Mohamed Ali, who worked in the Bulaq Dakrur Hospital, contracted the virus while on duty.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian Lawyers Syndicate has temporarily closed its Cairo headquarters and affiliated River Club in Maadi, after three coronavirus infections were confirmed there. The syndicate said on Friday the closure was meant for disinfection and sterilisation on Saturday and Sunday.
Moreover, Abdel-Hadi Abu Stete, head of the Lawyers Syndicate’s Belbes branch in Sharqeya, died on Friday due to coronavirus-related complications.
Head of the Lawyers Syndicate Rajae Attia noted in earlier televised remarks that several coronavirus infections have been confirmed among the syndicate’s members, but declined to identify them by name.
Also on Friday, the Menoufiya Health Directorate allocated 90% of its hospitals capacity as quarantine facilities for coronavirus patients. The remaining 10% of beds have been kept aside for other emergency cases.
In an official letter submitted to the governorate’s hospitals, the directorate said, “Given the emergency circumstances that the country is going through due to the novel coronavirus, and given the increase in the [number of] cases, (the directorate) allocates all beds at hospitals for quarantining positive and suspected coronavirus cases, while 10% will be allocated for emergency cases.”
The move came after three villages were quarantined in the governorate following the detection of new infections there. The villages of Shintina Al Hajar in Birket el Sab, Kafr as Sanabisah, and Mit Om Saleh have been identified as the quarantined villages.
Starting on 30 May, the government has amended the curfew hours to be from 20:00 to 6:00 for two weeks. Face masks will be obligatory in all public spaces, including markets, shops, banks, public and private installations, and public transport. Violators will be fined EGP 4,000.
The government has put in place coexistence plans to ensure life returns to as normal as possible under precautionary measures starting the second half of June.