Egypt sees highest single-day hike of COVID-19 deaths

Egypt registered 34 new COVID-19 fatalities, the highest single-day surge since the pandemic hit the country in mid-February, raising the death toll to 879.

The North African country also reported a single-day record of 1,289 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total infections in Egypt to 22,082, Egypt’s health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Megahed noted that 152 coronavirus patients were completely cured and discharged from hospitals in the past 24 hours, taking the total recoveries to 5,511.

Egypt has been witnessing a continuing surge in COVID-19 infections since the last week of April, with the government urging Egyptians to stay at home to avoid infections.

The Health Ministry has recently prepared 320 public hospitals for receiving and treating coronavirus patients. Besides, the hospitals of chest diseases and fever have been working with full capacity since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Since the beginning of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday on May 24, Egypt extended a previously imposed nighttime curfew from nine hours to 13 hours for six days, to maintain social distancing and avoid gatherings amid increasing COVID-19 infections.

From May 30, the curfew will be reduced to 10 hours for two weeks, and then the government will consider easing the restrictions and gradually resuming some suspended activities.

The government has already started gradually reopening services and offices that have been suspended since mid-March amid a “coexistence plan” to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming services, businesses and economic activities.

The country has also allowed the reopening of 78 hotels in seven provinces for local tourists after they have been inspected and given “hygiene safety” certificates from a government special committee.

Egypt and China have been closely cooperating in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through exchanging medical aid and expertise to curb the spread of the deadly respiratory disease.

In early February, Egypt was among the first nations to provide aid to China in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

Since mid-April, Chinese doctors held three video conferences with Egyptian counterparts to share their experiences in the prevention and treatment of the novel coronavirus.