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Wed 26 Aug 2020 05:46 PM

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Egypt's PM warns of second Covid wave, says face masks must be worn

Mostafa Madbouly issues statement as the number of cases continue to rise in the country

Egypt's PM warns of second Covid wave, says face masks must be worn

Egypt's Prime Minister on Wednesday warned the nation of another wave of Covid-19 and said all precautionary measures will remain in place including mandatory wearing of face masks.

"The recent increase in the number of cases should make us take note, continue enforcing the precautionary measures and apply fines on those who break them so we don't have another wave of the pandemic," said a statement quoting Mostafa Madbouly.

All government hospitals or wards dedicated to treating Covid-19 cases should remain open, Madbouly said, and be prepared for any uptick in figures.

Health Minister Hala Zayed said that "a false sense of safety" has been leading people to drop their guard against potential infection.

The Ministry of Health and Population Ministry, which is the authority that tracks and publishes case, said on Tuesday there were 141 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 18 deaths. By comparison, there were 89 new confirmed cases and 12 deaths on Saturday, according to the official figures.

In view of the deteriorating economy, Egypt has allowed the resumption of public transportation and commercial activities such as cafes, cinemas and malls to reopen until midnight. All airports reopened for air traffic and EgyptAir, the national carrier, resumed flights to 27 destinations at about 60 percent capacity.

All museums and historic sites will reopen on September 1 albeit with limited numbers of visitors in an attempt to revive the struggling tourism sector which has been losing about $1 billion dollars a day.

Zayed said in the statement that the government must "determine the best effective methods to absorb the effects of any closure and avoid a large number of new cases to maintain economic activity".

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