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Egypt’s military says 46 militants, 3 soldiers killed in Sinai

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Egypt’s military says 46 militants, 3 soldiers killed in Sinai

“Forty-six very dangerous terrorist elements have been eliminated in exchange of fire in North and Central Sinai,” the armed forces spokesman said in a statement.

The statement added that 100 suspected criminals were arrested in the operations, without giving a time-frame.

It added that 204 explosive devices and a number of hideouts containing weapons, ammunitions and highly explosive materials were detected and destroyed.

The forces have destroyed 10 tunnels on the border with the Gaza Strip and seized a number of RPGs and mortar shells, it said.

“As a result of the combating operations, three soldiers have been martyred during clashes and the cleansing of terrorist hotbeds,” it said.

In 2018, Egypt started a major security operation in Northern Sinai – a hotbed of militants – and elsewhere in the country.

Fatima Sule: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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Egypt registers 702 new COVID-19 cases, tally close to 18,000

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The Egyptian government on Monday announced 702 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the North African country to 17,967.

Meanwhile, 19 new deaths were recorded, taking the total number of fatalities to 783, while 93 more fully recovered and were discharged from hospitals in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 4,900, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

Egypt announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Feb. 14 and the first death on March 8, both foreigners.

During the six-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which started on Sunday, the evening curfew in Egypt lasts 13 hours instead of nine to maintain social distancing and avoid gatherings amid the increasing COVID-19 infections.

After the Islamic holiday, the curfew will be reduced to 10 hours for two weeks, before the government will consider from mid-June easing restrictions and gradually resuming suspended activities.

Egypt has already started easing restrictions and gradually reopening services and offices that have been halted since mid-March amid the government’s coexistence plan to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming services, businesses and economic activities.

Egypt has received three batches of medical aid from the Chinese government to help its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Feature: Egypt cautiously reopens hotels for local citizens to save tourism

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Egypt’s hotel industry is trying a new beginning as the government eases the anti-coronavirus restriction measures gradually.

So far more than 70 hotels have received the health safety certificate required for reoperation after they have followed the health guidelines laid out by the Egyptian government and the World Health Organisation (WHO), Egypt’s tourism and antiquities ministry said.

The hotels that received the permission are located in five provinces: the Red Sea, South Sinai, Alexandria, Suez and Cairo, the ministry said in a statement.

“The hotels are working with a maximum capacity of 25 percent as an experimental opening until the end of May, then they are allowed to accommodate guests at a 50-percent capacity starting early June,” Alla Aaqel, chairman of the Red Sea Hotels Chamber, told Xinhua.

He added 83 out of 252 hotels in the Red Sea province have applied to get the health certificate, but only 41 hotels have met the required conditions.

Noting that privately-owned boats and yachts are allowed for operation, Aaqel said that public beaches will be completely closed, but the hotels will operate their shores amid strict precautionary measures.

However, boat owners will be subject to stripping their license for several months and fined in case of violating the precautionary measures.

He reiterated that Safari trips and diving will be suspended during the Eid al-Fitr holiday that will end on May 29.

“The move won’t compensate the losses caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 for the tourism sector that has generated record-high revenues of 13 billion U.S. dollars in 2019,” said Aaqel.

Reopening hotels will test the preparedness of the tourism industry for operating normally, he explained, adding that the domestic tourism is the “life jacket” for the hotel industry that employs a large number of workers.

By the end of April, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, in cooperation with the Chamber of Hotel, announced measures needed for safe operation, including preventive measures in hotels upon receiving guests, internal supervision on laundry, food, and beverages, swimming pools, beaches, and gyms.

The measures also include housing, occupancy rate, providing awareness signs, and services to ensure a safe working environment to prevent the spread of the virus.

In Qena province, south of the capital, Basma, a four-star hotel restarted operation on May 20.

“The hotel has installed sterilization gates, and designated a complete floor for quarantine with residential doctors,” said Mokhlis Malak, owner of the hotel.

He added the hotel’s restaurant has abided by the social distance measures and put only two persons on a table, with two meters between every two tables.

Meanwhile, Wael Talaat, a 49-year-old engineer, who is accommodated with his family in Hilton Hurghada Plaza Hotel, hailed the reopening of hotels as a kind of relief for the people kept at home for nearly two months.

“I enjoy the beach activities with my family during the feast holiday,” said Talaat, adding that the hotel has continuously sterilized the personal tools of everyone.

Egypt has decided to impose stricter measures during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, including extending its curfew hours and suspending public transportation to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

According to Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, as of mid-June the state will announce a gradual resumption of several activities, including sporting clubs and youth centers, and gradual reopening of places of worship.

The government will also consider the possibility of a gradual return of in-house dining at restaurants with strict measures later in June, Madbouly said.

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 764 in Egypt based on the health ministry’s last update on Sunday.

(XINHUA)

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Egypt, Greece agree on rejecting foreign intervention in Libya

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Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held a phone call on Monday with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the recent developments in Libya.

“The two sides agreed on rejecting the intervention by foreign parties in Libya,” Bassam Radi, spokesperson of the presidency, said in a statement.

He added the intervention in the war-torn country has only added complications to the crisis and brought benefits for the interfering parties at the expense of the interests of Libyan people.

The two leaders demanded to mobilize the international community efforts to stand against any intervention that would also threatens the security and stability of the regional neighboring and European countries, Radi added.

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

(XINHUA)

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Roundup: Egyptians stay indoors on fast-breaking day under anti-coronavirus measures

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Egypt celebrated on Sunday the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which comes after the holy fasting month of Ramadan, amid tight anti-COVID-19 restrictions.

Unlike previous years, streets, public parks and beaches that used to be overcrowded with people were almost empty as the security beefed up presence to impose a lockdown, social distancing measures as well as a 13-hour curfew that starts in the afternoon.

During the feast, Egyptians used to flock to public parks, zoos and other outdoor places to mark the festival. However, the spread of the novel coronavirus has kept millions of them indoors to avoid infection.

The most populous Arab country has so far confirmed 17,265 COVID-19 cases, including 764 deaths and 4,807 recoveries.

The Egyptian government decided to impose a stricter package of anti-COVID-19 measures during the six-day holiday to combat the spread of the virus.

In the holiday, the curfew in Egypt lasts for 13 hours instead of nine to maintain social distancing and avoid gatherings amid the increasing COVID-19 infections.

After the Islamic holiday, the curfew will be reduced to 10 hours for two weeks and then, the government will consider from mid-June easing restrictions and gradually resuming several suspended activities.

Egypt has already started easing restrictions and gradually reopening services and offices that have been halted since mid-March amid the government’s “coexistence plan” to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming services, businesses and economic activities.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Interior Ministry announced that its security plans included intensifying security presence in all axes, roads, streets, squares and vital areas.

The plan also included following up on the implementation of the precautionary measures to preserve citizens’ well-being within the comprehensive plan to limit the spread of the coronavirus, which includes the closure of beaches, public parks, shops, malls, restaurants, and areas providing entertainment services.

The interior ministry announced on Sunday that 5,532 inmates were pardoned and released on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr holiday. The move came in accordance with a recent presidential decree, the ministry said in a statement.

It has been a custom for Egyptian presidents to pardon prisoners, mainly those who have spent more than half of their terms as well as patients and the elderly people, on national and significant religious occasions.

(XINHUA)

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Egypt sees daily record of 29 COVID-19 fatalities, death toll hits 764

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Egypt reported on Sunday a new single-day record of 29 COVID-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 764 in the country.

The ministry’s spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement that 752 new cases have also been confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections in Egypt to 17,265.

He added that 179 more coronavirus patients were completely cured and discharged from hospitals, raising the total recoveries in the country to 4,807.

During the six-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which started on Sunday, the evening curfew in Egypt lasts for 13 hours instead of nine to maintain social distancing and avoid gatherings amid the increasing COVID-19 infections.

After the Islamic holiday, the curfew will be reduced to 10 hours for two weeks and then, the government will consider from mid-June easing restrictions and gradually resuming several suspended activities.

Egypt has already started easing restrictions and gradually reopening services and offices that have been halted since mid-March amid the government’s “coexistence plan” to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming services, businesses and economic activities.

Egypt and China join hands in fighting COVID-19 through mutual support and exchange of medical aid and expertise.

The North African country has received three batches of medical aid from the Chinese government to help its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Egypt sees daily record of 28 COVID-19 fatalities, death toll hits 735

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Egypt witnessed on Saturday a new record of 28 single-day fatalities of COVID-19, bringing the death toll in country to 735, said the Egyptian Health Ministry.

The country also confirmed 727 new cases infected with the novel coronavirus, raising the total infections registered in Egypt since mid-February to 16,513, the ministry’s spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

Megahed noted that 254 coronavirus patients were completely cured and discharged from hospitals on Saturday, increasing the total recoveries to 4,628.

He stressed Egypt’s close cooperation and coordination with the World Health Organization regarding COVID-19 case detection and necessary medical care.

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.

Over the past 30 days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the most populous Arab country implemented a nationwide nine-hour nighttime curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time to curb the spread of the virus.

From May 24, which marks the beginning of the post-Ramadan Eid al-Fitr holiday, the evening curfew will be 13 hours instead of nine, for six days, to maintain social distancing and avoid gatherings amid the increasing number of COVID-19 infections.

After the Islamic holiday, from May 30, the curfew will be reduced from 13 to 10 hours for two weeks and then, the government will consider from mid-June easing restrictions and gradually resuming several suspended activities.

Egypt has already started easing restrictions and gradually reopening services and offices that have been halted since mid-March amid the government’s “coexistence plan” to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming services, businesses and economic activities.

Egypt and China join hands in fighting COVID-19 through mutual support and exchange of medical aid and expertise.

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 that Chinese companies in Egypt take strict precautionary measures to maintain their work momentum in different projects amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

(XINHUA)

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Egypt police kill 21 terrorists in Sinai raids

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The Egyptian security forces killed 21 terrorists during raids on their hideouts in North Sinai province northeastern the country, the Egyptian Interior Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The security campaign targeted two hideouts in farms of North Sinai where the militants hid and plotted anti-security operations to be carried out during the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, the Islamic feast that kicks off on Sunday, according to the statement.

After intensive shootout, 21 terrorist were killed and the police found 17 machine guns, five explosives devices and two explosive belts in their possession.

“Two policemen were injured during the operation,” the police said in the statement.

In early May, the Egyptian Interior Ministry said the forces killed 18 terrorists in North Sinai, a couple of days after a terror attack on a military armored vehicle left 10 soldiers either killed or wounded.

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 and the later security crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood group, which is currently blacklisted as a terrorist organization.

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.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian security forces killed hundreds of terrorists and arrested thousands of suspects during the country’s anti-terror war declared following Morsi’s ouster.

(XINHUA)

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Egypt, EU top diplomats discuss ties, regional issues

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell discussed mutual ties on Friday.

During a phone conversation, both officials highlighted the importance of continuing constructive cooperation between the two sides in order to strengthen the partnership in various fields, Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Shoukry expressed appreciation for the recent support provided by the EU to Egypt to develop its health sector, the statement said, adding that they have also touched ways to counter the spread of the coronavirus.

Shoukry and Borrell also discussed many regional issues, especially the latest developments in the Palestinian cause and efforts to resume the peace process based on the two-state solution.

The latest developments in Libya were also discussed, where the Egyptian minister stressed the importance of reaching a comprehensive political settlement, and the need to restore security and eliminate terrorism in order to achieve the desired stability for the Libyan people.

They discussed the issue of the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which Ethiopia is building on the Nile River, stressing the importance of reaching an agreement and refraining from taking any unilateral measures.

(XINHUA)

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Egypt registers daily record of 783 new COVID-19 cases

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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)

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Egypt detains 5 Brotherhood members for fabricating media reports

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Egypt’s police arrested on Friday five members of a Brotherhood cell over charges of producing fabricated media reports and programs, the country’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.

“The national security sector has received information that several fleeing leaders of the outlawed group abroad have assigned some Brotherhood elements inside Egypt to prepare fabricated media reports in exchange for large amounts of money,” said the statement.

The reports, some of which are made about the restive North Sinai, aimed at undermining the security and stability of the country, it added.

The seized media materials were planned to promote and incite hatred against the state institutions, the statement added.

It also said that six other members of the terrorist cell are residing in Turkey and Qatar.

The police seized several computers loaded with programs that are used in the montage works, and many documentary films about the internal conditions in the country.

Since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, thousands members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group have been detained over anti-security terrorist attacks.

(XINHUA)

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Egypt’s president vows support for Sudan’s stability

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Friday vowed support for progress and stability of Sudan, the presidency office said in a statement.

Bassam Radi, spokesperson of the presidency, said that the remarks came in a phone call with Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The talks have tackled several regional issues and means of promoting the bilateral ties and visions on cooperation in different fields, Radi added.

The Egyptian-Sudanese relations have been tense over the past few years on various issues, including their differences over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which Ethiopia is building on the Nile River.

While both Ethiopia and Sudan hope to reap massive benefits from the GERD construction, Egypt is worried that it would undermine its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the Nile River water.

(XINHUA)

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Egypt accepts Ethiopia-Sudan proposal to resume negotiation over dam dispute

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Egypt said it is willing to resume negotiations with Sudan and Ethiopia over the filling of the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), state-run Ahram newspapers reported on Friday.

“Egypt is always ready to enter into negotiations and participate in upcoming meetings between the ministers of irrigations of the three countries,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

It added that “serious and constructive talks would contribute to a fair, balanced, and comprehensive agreement.”

The ministry said the agreement would have to take into account “Egypt’s water interests as well as those of Ethiopia and Sudan.”

The statement came after the announcement on Thursday by Khartoum and Addis Ababa “to resume technical discussions about the filling and operation of the dam.”

On Thursday, Prime Minister of Sudan Abdalla Hamdok and Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed held an online meeting and agreed to resume the talks in order to reach a final agreement on the filling and operation policies of the GERD.

The meeting came after Addis Ababa said it would not delay filling the GERD, which it began constructing in 2011.

Both Egypt and Sudan fear the reservoir, which has a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, will impact their essential water supplies.

Hamdok and Abiy’s talks were the first after a diplomatic spat that broke out between Egypt and Ethiopia reached the United Nations Security Council.

The negotiations between the three countries reached a deadlock last February after Ethiopia skipped the final round of talks in Washington.

(XINHUA)

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Egypt sees record 774 daily new COVID-19 cases, 15,003 in total

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Egypt witnessed on Thursday a record 774 single-day new COVID-19 cases, raising the total infections confirmed in the country since mid-February to 15,003, according to the health ministry.

It is the third consecutive day for Egypt’s COVID-19 daily infections to exceed 700.

Meanwhile, 16 patients died from the novel coronavirus in Egypt in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 696, said Khaled Megahed, the health ministry’s spokesman, in a statement.

In addition, 223 patients were completely cured and discharged from hospitals on Thursday, increasing the total recoveries to 4,217, Megahed added.

Earlier in the day, Egyptian Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar explained that the actual number of COVID-19 infections in Egypt could be five times that of confirmed ones.

“The actual figure of coronavirus infections in Egypt could be more than 71,000,” the minister said in a televised conference attended by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

Citing data analysis, Abdel-Ghaffar expected the number of infections to start declining in Egypt from mid-July.

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

The most populous Arab country 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.

Earlier in the day, 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)

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Roundup: Chinese companies in Egypt maintain work momentum amid COVID-19 outbreak: Chinese envoy

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Chinese companies in Egypt take strict precautionary measures for maintaining the work momentum in different projects amid the COVID-19 outbreak, said Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang on Thursday.

During a virtual press conference, the Chinese ambassador highlighted that “all the Chinese projects are progressing regularly in light of the continuous dialogue between the two countries for pushing the bilateral ties forward.”

Liao highlighted that May 30 marks the 64th anniversary for establishing Chinese-Egyptian ties, stressing the two countries’ strong economic, trade, cultural, and current medical cooperations.

He added that the two countries’ fruitful cooperation signals the mutual political trust, noting that China is the largest trade partner with Egypt.

The Chinese diplomat said that some 1,600 Chinese companies working in Egypt have provided 30,000 job opportunities for Egyptian workers.

Meanwhile, Han Bing, minister counselor for economic and commercial affairs of the Chinese embassy in Cairo, said “Chinese companies have promoted the awareness of the workers about precautionary measures of the pandemic.”

China aimed at boosting the work in the ongoing projects in Egypt,” Han said.

He added that the Chinese companies have taken strict measures at a high level including wearing face masks, measuring the temperature, cleansing the buildings of the projects, and preventing the gathering of workers.

Han said that no single COVID-19 case has registered among the Egyptian or the Chinese workers in those companies.

He confirmed “the work inside China State Construction Engineering Corporation company operating in the new administrative capital with 3,000 workers hasn’t stopped or been impacted amid the virus spread.”

Han also voiced confidence in the Egyptian side for containing the spread of the virus, adding that “we are ready to work with Egypt for promoting the trade and economic cooperation especially in the health field.”

On May 16, Egypt received the third batch of medical supplies from the Chinese government weighing over 35 tons.

Egypt received on May 10 the second batch of medical aid from China weighing 4.7 tons.

In April, Egypt received the first batch of aid from China.

Egypt registered 745 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of infections to 14,229 in the country including 680 deaths.

(XINHUA)

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Egyptian, British FMs hold phone talks over Libya

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Thursday held phone talks with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab over the situation in Libya.

The two sides exchanged the two countries’ visions for reaching a comprehensive settlement that will bring security and stability to the war-torn country, Ahmed Hafez, spokesperson of Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The two ministers have also discussed means of promoting bilateral relations and regional issues of common interests.

They also stressed the importance of maintaining the two-state solution and discussed the recent developments regarding the Palestinian cause.

Shoukry and Raab agreed on intensifying cooperation and coordination at the international level for fighting the spread of the COVID-19 and limiting its impacts at different levels.

(XINHUA)

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Egypt to deduct 1 pct of state employees’ income for a year amid COVID-19 crisis

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Egypt will deduct 1 percent of the net monthly income of state employees for one year amid the coronavirus crisis, the state-run Ahram newspaper reported on Thursday.

The Egyptian cabinet on Wednesday approved the draft law about the income deduction.

The newspaper quoted a statement posted on the cabinet Facebook page saying that “the new draft law will also cut 0.5 percent of the pensioners’ monthly income.”

The new policy will be enforced as of July 1, according to the statement.

According to the statement, people earning less than 2,000 Egyptian pounds (nearly 126 U.S. dollars) per month will be exempt from this decision.

The measure is meant “to alleviate the economic consequences caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” added the statement.

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in an earlier statement that the country has encountered great economic burdens that require tougher measures to contain its impacts.

Egypt registered 745 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of infections to 14,229 nationwide and total deaths to 680.

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

(XINHUA)

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Egypt’s COVID-19 daily infections exceed 700 for 2nd day, 14,229 in total

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Egypt witnessed on Wednesday a daily record of 745 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total cases registered in the country since mid-February to 14,229.

It is the second consecutive day for Egypt’s new COVID-19 cases to exceed 700.

Meanwhile, 21 patients died from the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the death toll in Egypt to 680, Egyptian Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

In addition, 252 more COVID-19 patients were cured and discharged from hospitals on Wednesday, increasing total recoveries to 3,994, Megahed added.

He highlighted Egypt’s close cooperation with the World Health Organization regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the case detection and the necessary medical care.

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

The most populous Arab country 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.

(XINHUA)

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Egyptian, Spanish FMs discuss ties, regional issues

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Spanish counterpart Arancha Gonzalez Laya discussed on Wednesday bilateral relations and regional issues of mutual interest.

During a phone conversation, both ministers pledged to boost mutual relations in various fields, especially at the economic level, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

The two top diplomats tackled ways to fight the coronavirus pandemic as well as cooperation to curb its repercussions, according to the ministry statement.

They also touched upon the latest regional developments including the Palestinian issue, the situations in Libya and war on terrorism.

The Spanish foreign minister was keen to know the Egyptian vision regarding the means of reaching just and comprehensive settlements to the issues and crises in the region in order to achieve the desired stability, the statement noted.

(XINHUA)

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Libya’s stability part of Egypt’s national security: Egyptian president

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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi reiterated on Tuesday that the stability of neighboring Libya is part of Egypt’s national security, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.

Sisi stressed Egypt’s fixed position that seeks a political settlement for the Libyan crisis, preserves Libya’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, and rejects foreign intervention in Libyan domestic affairs, said the statement.

The Egyptian president’s remarks came during a video conference of the African Union Contact Group on Libya.

Egypt supports Khalifa Haftar, head of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army, regarding him as a bulwark against terrorism in the chaos-stricken country.

Egypt also accuses its regional rivals Turkey and Qatar, which back the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord led by Haftar’s rival Fayez al-Serraj, as “supporters of terrorist militants in Libya.”

Over the past few years, Egypt suffered several terrorist attacks against its forces, carried out by militants infiltrating into the country through its western borders with Libya.

“Egypt did not and will not tolerate terrorist groups and those who support them,” Sisi said on Tuesday.

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

(XINHUA)

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Egypt records biggest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases

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Egypt on Tuesday recorded 720 new COVID-19 cases, in the biggest single-day rise in the infections with the novel coronavirus since the country reported its first case in mid-February.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Egypt jumped to 13,484, as the death toll rose to 659 after 14 fatalities were added, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

Egypt also reported a record daily recoveries of 302, bringing the total number of recoveries in the country to 3,742, the spokesman said.

Egypt has been witnessing a continuing surge in COVID-19 infections since the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on April 24.

The most populous Arab country is implementing a nationwide nine-hour curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time during Ramadan that will end on May 23.

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

During the Islamic feast, all malls, shops, restaurants, public parks and beaches will be closed and all public means of transport suspended.

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 recently started to ease the anti-coronavirus restrictions by gradually reopening some services and offices halted since mid-March, amid a “coexistence plan” to maintain precautionary measures while resuming economic activities.

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