Connect with us

Foreign

Egypt registers daily record of 783 new COVID-19 cases

Published

on

Egypt recorded 783 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours, the highest daily rise since the pandemic outbreak in February, bringing the total cases to 15,786, Egypt’s health ministry said on Friday.

Egypt also confirmed 11 new coronavirus-related deaths, taking the death toll from the disease to 707, said Khaled Megahed, the health ministry’s spokesman, in a statement.

Confirmed cases in the most populous Arab country have notably been growing beyond 700 for the fourth day running.

Meannwhile, Megahed noted that 157 patients have recovered and left hospitals in the past 24 hours, bringing the total recoveries to 4,374.

Egypt is currently implementing a nationwide nine-hour curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. during the ongoing Muslim holy month of Ramadan that ends on May 23.

Starting May 24, the first day of the post-Ramadan Eid al-Fitr holiday, the evening curfew will be 13 hours for six days in order to maintain social distancing and avoid gatherings amid the rise in the number of the COVID-19 cases.

From May 30, the curfew will be reduced to 10 hours from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. for two weeks, before the cabinet will consider further easing restrictions and gradually resuming suspended activities.

The Egyptian government has recently started to ease restrictions and gradually reopened services and offices that have been halted since mid-March amid a coexistence plan to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming services, businesses and economic activities.

On May 16, the Egyptian authorities received the third batch of medical aid from the Chinese government to help the North African country with its fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.

On Thursday, Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang said Chinese companies in the North African country take strict precautionary measures to maintain their work momentum in different projects amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

(XINHUA)

Foreign

Egypt sees daily record of 1,536 COVID-19 infections, tally nears 25,000

Published

on

By

Egypt reported on Sunday a new record of 1,536 COVID-19 daily infections, raising the total number of cases registered in the country to 24,985, the Egyptian Health Ministry said.

It is the fourth consecutive day for Egypt’s COVID-19 daily infections to surpass 1,000.

Meanwhile, the most populous Arab country saw the highest-single day fatalities as 46 patients died from the novel coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 959, the ministry’s spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

The country also witnessed a record of daily recoveries as 344 patients were cured and discharged from hospitals, increasing the total recoveries to 6,037, according to the statement.

“All the cases registered as positive for the virus receive medical care at isolation and quarantine hospitals in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization,” Megahed reiterated.

Egypt announced its first confirmed COVID-19 infection on Feb. 14 and the first death from the pandemic on March 8.

Since March 25, the Egyptian government has been imposing a constantly renewed nighttime curfew, of which hours varied between nine and 13 based on the situation, to curb the spread of the virus.

Earlier on Sunday, the government announced reducing the curfew from 10 hours to nine hours, following a meeting led by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.

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

It has also allowed reopening of dozens of hotels for local tourists after they have been inspected and given “hygiene safety” certificates from a government special committee.

Egypt and China join hands 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.

China, after having largely controlled the pandemic, returned favor by sending three batches of medical aid to Egypt, the latest of which was delivered in mid-May.

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

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Feature: Online shopping flourishes in Egypt amid COVID-19 partial lockdown

Published

on

By

“I do most of my grocery shopping online or by phone since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus,” said an Egyptian housewife in the capital Cairo, expressing concern to go out shopping at markets and shops.

Randa Ibrahim, a mother of five, searched on the internet and asked neighbors and friends until she found online shopping platforms where she can buy foodstuff and other necessary items, amid a partial lockdown imposed in the most populous Arab country since mid-March to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“I did not expect we have that many online shopping platforms in Egypt. I will keep using online shopping even after the coronavirus crisis is over because it saves both time and effort,” the 45-year-old lady told Xinhua.

Ibrahim is one of many Egyptians who have become frequent visitors of online shopping websites via their smartphones or computers during the COVID-19 crisis that hit Egypt and the whole world.

Egypt announced its first confirmed COVID-19 infection on Feb. 14 and the first death from the pandemic on March 8, both of whom were foreigners.

Until Saturday night, Egypt’s total coronavirus confirmed cases have reached 23,449, including 913 deaths and 5,693 recoveries.

Since Egypt has been implementing a partial nighttime curfew for more than two months now, with obligatory closure of malls and stores during curfew hours, online shopping websites have flourished and attracted new visitors in the country.

Jumia, one of the most well-known online shopping platforms in Egypt, which claims to be the country’s “largest online mall store,” says that its sales have increased by 50 percent during the COVID-19 crisis.

“We have made a lot of preparations to qualify Jumia to absorb the intense pressure on the website, relying on technology for online safety and protection to encourage customers to use electronic payment,” Hesham Safwat, CEO of Jumia Egypt, told Xinhua.

He pointed out that his platform established JumiaPay for online payment services, through which the customers can pay for the purchased items and pay the bills of electricity, gas, water, internet, landline and all other services.

“We offer special discounts for electronic payments through JumiaPay to promote non-cash transactions in order to support the government’s efforts for financial inclusion and reduce the risk of virus transmission through direct cash payment,” Safwat added.

Jumia observes the highest preventive measures recommended by the World Health Organization and the Egyptian Ministry of Health to ensure safe delivery of our items, according to Jumia CEO, who expects the new customers to continue using online shopping after the crisis.

Online shopping in Egypt is currently not restricted to existing websites, for many stores and shops, including small bakeries, groceries, butcher shops, vegetable and fruits shops and others, started to establish their own pages on social media websites to sell online.

“That is really amazing for us as customers! They deliver the orders for free if they are in the same neighborhood and they even make big discounts for online shoppers,” said Areej Ahmed, a 34-year-old housewife.

“The good thing is that the delivery men pay attention to safety measures, as they wear face masks and gloves and avoid talking much or getting closer to customers,” she told Xinhua.

Egypt’s current nighttime curfew, which has been reduced from 10 hours to nine hours on Sunday, will continue for two weeks, and then the government will consider easing restrictions and gradually resuming several 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.

Economic experts in Egypt hope that investment in the field of online shopping could grow bigger to largely constitute to the economy, as in big economies like China and the United States.

“Online shopping has notably helped so many companies, stores and factories that have suffered greatly from the imposed curfew and anti-COVID-19 restrictions,” said Egyptian economic expert Abu Bakr al-Deeb.

“I think that the culture of online shopping in Egypt will continue even after the end of the coronavirus crisis. This area of business will witness unprecedented development and investment in the coming few years,” the expert told Xinhua.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Egypt’s army kills 19 “terrorists” in restive North Sinai

Published

on

By

Egyptian armed forces killed 19 “terrorists” in the country’s restive North Sinai province, a military spokesperson said on Sunday.

The forces obtained intelligence information about a number of terrorists hiding in several hideouts in Bir al-Abd, Sheikh Zuwayed and Rafah cities of North Sinai, military spokesman Tamer al-Refai said in a statement.

The army troops carried out two raids on these hotbeds, killing three terrorists who had automatic rifles, the spokesman said.

Grenades and RPG rockets have been seized, al-Refai said, adding that five explosive devices that were planted to target the armed forces were detonated.

Al-Refai revealed that 16 other terrorists were also killed in several airstrikes in North Sinai, adding that two four-wheel drive vehicles and a warehouse of explosive devices were destroyed in the air raids.

The spokesman pointed out that two officers and two soldiers were killed or injured during these operations.

He did not mention when these military operations took place.

Egypt has been fighting a wave of terrorist activities that killed hundreds of policemen, soldiers and civilians since the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Most terrorist attacks in Egypt over the past few years were claimed by a Sinai-based group loyal to the Islamic State regional terrorist group.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Egyptian, French presidents discuss regional issues, focus on war-torn Libya

Published

on

By

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed on Saturday the development of several regional issues, including the situation in Libya.

During a phone call, Macron said he is keen to exchange views with Sisi over these issues as Cairo plays a key political role in the region, Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.

For his part, Sisi affirmed Egypt’s firm position towards the Libyan crisis based on restoring Libyan national state institutions, ending the spread of criminal groups and terrorist militias.

He added that Egypt also gives top priority to combating terrorism, achieving stability and security and putting an end to illegal foreign interventions in Libya.

The two presidents agreed to intensify their coordination in the coming period, stressing the necessity to end the Libyan crisis by reaching a political solution that paves the way for the return of security and stability in the country, the spokesman said.

They showed support for international endeavors as well as implementing the results of the Berlin process to end the conflict in Libya.

Libya has been locked in a civil war since the ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The Libyan conflict escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rival governments, the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in the capital Tripoli and another in the northeastern city of Tobruk allied with self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.

While Egypt supports Haftar’s LNA that seeks to take over Tripoli, Turkey backs the Tripoli-based GNA.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Roundup: Egypt reports biggest daily COVID-19 infections, increases hospitals for coronavirus treatment

Published

on

By

Egyptian Health Ministry reported on Saturday 1,367 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the highest daily record, raising the country’s total infections to 23,449.

Thirty-four new fatalities have also been recorded, bringing the country’s death toll from the disease to 913, the ministry’s spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

According to Megahed, 182 patients have been discharged from the hospitals after fully cured, taking the recoveries in Egypt to 5,693.

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.

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.

Starting from Saturday, May 30, the curfew was 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.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Saturday that the ministry has increased the number of hospitals tasked with receiving the coronavirus patients to be 376 nationwide.

She noted that 5,400 health units and 1,000 fixed and mobile medical convoys have been allocated across the country to distribute a bag of medicines and preventive supplies to those who have been in contact with COVID-19 positive cases.

The minister appealed to those who recover from the virus to donate blood plasma after 14 days of their recovery to contribute to the treatment of critical cases of COVID-19.

She noted that plasma injection showed a great success after treating 30 critical cases since blood plasmas of the recovered patients contain coronavirus antibodies, according to a statement by the health ministry.

Zayed also urged those who show symptoms of the coronavirus to go to any of these hospitals where they will receive necessary tests and treatment if needed.

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.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

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

Published

on

By

Egypt registered 34 new COVID-19 fatalities on Friday, 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.

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.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Egypt, Cyprus leaders discuss cooperation, regional issues

Published

on

By

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi discussed on Friday with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades means of promoting bilateral cooperation and several regional issues, the Egyptian presidency office said.

In a phone conversation, the two leaders talked about the efforts in fighting COVID-19 and containing its health, economic and social impacts, said Bassam Radi, spokesperson of the presidency, in a statement.

The talks also touched upon regional issues of common concerns such as securing the energy in eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The Cypriot president hailed “the vital role and the political weight of Egypt in maintaining the regional stability,” reiterating the European Union‘s appreciation for Egypt’s efforts in achieving stability, fighting terrorism and combating illegal immigration.

Radi added that the two leaders also exchanged views on the recent developments in Libya and agreed on intensifying efforts for settling the ongoing conflicts through political solution.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

News Analysis: Egypt’s real-estate sector resilient though impacted by COVID-19

Published

on

By

As the Egyptian economy suffers a slowdown due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the real-estate sector stayed resilient to the market fluctuations, according to economic and property experts.

“No country in the world will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic unscathed especially at the economic level,” said Waleed Gaballah, professor of financial and economic jurisdictions at Cairo University.

“Egypt’s economy was hit by contraction of tourism, a decline of remittances of Egyptians abroad and unsurprisingly reduction in revenues from the Suez Canal, which is extremely sensitive to global trade and economic growth,” Gaballah told Xinhua.

However, in a country of over 100 million people, the demand for housing continues to outstrip supply. The expert added that people always look upon the real-estate sector as “the most secured investment.”

In 2019, some 500,000 Egyptians sought to buy apartments whether for living in or investing, according to the country’s official statistics agency.

“Sales of properties have been impacted in March and April which usually constitute high sales months in Egypt after the cancellation of Cityscape, the largest real-estate event in Egypt,” said Saad Husseiny, sales manager at Property Consultancy, a leading real estate company.

The curfew and the stop of contracts of some employees especially in the tourism and aviation sectors in the wake of the virus made clients reluctant for concluding some deals.

But Husseiny believed that it’s “merely a matter of delay of the purchase process” for a certain short period rather than real losses.

“Egypt’s real-estate sector is strong and flexible,” he added, expecting the second half of 2020 will compensate the losses of the previous months and bring the annual revenues to normal level by the end.

He noted that the country’s big developers have offered discounts on some units and expanded the terms of installments to encourage more sales.

Unlike other sectors, the construction sector in Egypt resumed 100 percent of on-site operation at the beginning of April, nearly two weeks after the government initially imposed a curfew in the middle of March to control the spread of the COVID-19.

As part of measures undertaken to stimulate the market, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in March reduced interest rates by 300 basis points, its biggest rate cut on record, setting the lending rate at 10.25 percent.

Gaballah stressed the CBE‘s move has helped businesses to withstand pressures during the pandemic and experience cheaper debt.

Workers have returned to the country’s construction sites while the sanitation measures are fully implemented to preserve their health, according to an agreement between the minister of housing and the Egyptian Federation for Construction and Building Contractors under the supervision of the prime minister.

Moreover, the government has embarked on an ambitious urban-expansion plan spearheaded by the New Administrative Capital east of Cairo in addition to further expansions in different provinces and regions of the country.

Chinese construction giant, the China State Construction Engineering Corporation is continuing to push ahead the project there. At the CBD site, Egyptian and Chinese engineers and workers are sparing no effort to advance construction, while actively implementing pandemic prevention measures.

“The state and private developers pushed the construction works ahead actively in the sites along with implementing the anti-coronavirus precautionary measures to maintain the power of that vital sector,” Husseiny explained.

He added the country’s developers are exerting tremendous efforts to deliver units on time and gain the confidence of customers.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Spotlight: COVID-19 outbreak hits Egypt’s gold market with recession: economic official

Published

on

By

The COVID-19 outbreak has a direct negative impact on the gold market in Egypt which has been experiencing a recession, said an Egyptian economic official.

“Since the appearance of the novel coronavirus in Egypt, the gold market has been suffering a massive recession and sales have fallen by more than 80 percent,” Nady Naguib, secretary of the Gold Division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, told Xinhua.

On Thursday, Egypt reported a new daily record of 1,127 coronavirus infections, raising the total cases in the most populous Arab country to 20,793, including 845 deaths and 5,359 recoveries.

Since mid-March, Egypt has suspended schools and universities and closed entertainment places and malls as part of the anti-coronavirus precautionary measures.

From the beginning of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday on May 24, the government extended a previously imposed nighttime curfew from nine hours to 13 hours for six days over COVID-19 concerns.

The early closure of stores during the holiday, which is considered a season for gold sales, added to the recession suffered by the gold market, because most customers in Egypt used to go out to buy jewelry in the evening.

Despite the decline in sales, gold prices in the Egyptian market are witnessing successive hikes.

Veteran merchants in the gold market attribute the global rise of gold prices to the negative repercussions of the worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which affected the economies of most states.

“Some countries feared the devaluation of their local currencies and the collapse of their economies. As a result, they resorted to buying tons of gold as a safe and global commodity that they can sell after the crisis is over,” the secretary of the gold division explained.

Experts in the Egyptian gold market expect gold prices to continue rising in the coming period, since no one knows when the COVID-19 crisis will come to an end, which means continuous fear of the disease and continuous precautionary measures against it.

The gold prices in Egypt are linked with the global market, so the large demand of some countries for buying and saving gold bars has led to worldwide gold price hikes, said Rafik Abbasi, Egyptian chief gold manufacturer.

Abbasi, head of the Metallurgical Chamber‘s Gold Manufacturers Division at the Federation of Egyptian Industries, agreed that gold sales in Egypt “significantly decreased” over the coronavirus crisis.

“The gold price hikes are expected to continue amid the collapse of the economies of some countries because of the coronavirus crisis, and vice versa,” the veteran gold manufacturer told Xinhua.

Before they have to close early in the evening to adhere to the nighttime curfew, most jewelry shops in Egypt are vacant without customers, even during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, when they used to be busy and open until midnight every year.

Since March, the gold market is almost frozen, because people are afraid to leave their homes because of the highly infectious virus,” said Mostafa Mikkawy, a gold shop owner in Giza province in south of Cairo.

He pointed out that since mid-March, his sales have declined by about 85 percent, adding that the outbreak of COVID-19 led to the decline of engagements and marriages, which greatly affected the gold sales.

“Among the customers who entered my shop since mid-March, only one groom came in to buy some jewelry wedding gifts for his bride,” Mikkawy said regrettably.

He described the rise of gold prices as “temporary,” expecting them to go down when the crisis is over.

“I hope that this pandemic will soon come to an end, life will return to normal and the gold market will recover, because my business has suffered a lot since the appearance of the virus,” the gold shop owner told Xinhua.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

Read Also