Egypt’s Health Minister blames COVID-19 uptick on winter season, relaxed attitudes

Egypt’s Minister of Health Hala Zayed said on Sunday that cooler weather and the public’s failure to adhere to government-mandated precautionary measures are to blame for the recent increase in COVID-19 cases.

Zayed added, during a press conference, that the reopening of schools and universities across the country did not play a part in the uptick.

The Alexandria, Cairo and Giza Governorates are recording the highest number of cases infected with coronavirus, with governorates in Upper Egypt reporting very few cases, Zayed said.

More COVID-19 cases are anticipated across the country in December and January.

Zayed stressed that no country is free from coronavirus, but noted that Egypt’s second wave of coronavirus will not be as lethal as the first wave was, with 92 percent of those infected expected to recover fully.

Egypt’s Health Ministry on Sunday confirmed 239 new coronavirus cases and 13 deaths.

103 patients were discharged from quarantine at isolation hospitals on Sunday, raising Egypt’s total number of fully-recovered cases to 100,342.

The country has reported a total of 109,201 cases.

The Egyptian government imposed in March strict precautionary measures to limit the outbreak of coronavirus, which included setting curfews, banning large gatherings, and closing restaurants, theaters, and cinemas.

The measures also include a mask mandate that applies to mass transportation and any public indoor space.

During a November 2 Egyptian Cabinet meeting about the virus situation, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly warned the public that unmasked riders, employees, and shoppers will be fined LE4,000.

Madbouly added that the government may take additional preemptive measures in the case of public noncompliance, which will likely affect the economic conditions of several classes.

Several countries have imposed full lockdown measures following a second outbreak of the virus that began in October.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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