Egypt bans gatherings as authorities record 59 coronavirus cases

Egypt bans mass gatherings as authorities record 59 coronavirus cases
2 min read
10 March, 2020
Mass public gatherings and prison visits have been put on hold in Egypt, where at least 59 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus.
Egypt recorded its first death from the virus on Sunday [Getty]
Egypt's government has banned mass gatherings across the country as part of efforts to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, according to state media.

Health authorities have so far recorded 59 cases of the deadly virus.

The new measure, which was announced by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, includes a temporary ban on public gatherings for religious festivals - such as the popular celebrations of births of saints and prophets.

Egypt's ministry of culture responded to the measure by announcing that large-scale cultural events will be put on hold, while the interior ministry said prison visits will be halted for ten days.

Schools, however, will remain open, Education Minister Tarek Shawki said, who insisted that the situation is "safe and does not warrant fears".

Read more: Coronavirus apocalypse: Islam's holiest site Mecca 'completely deserted'

Egypt recorded its first death from the novel coronavirus on Sunday, when a German tourist succumbed to "acute pneumonia" after testing positive for the virus.

According to Egyptian authorities, the tourist had refused to be transferred to an isolation ward.

On Tuesday, Lebanon also recorded its first death from the virus, according to the country's health ministry.

The 56-year-old was receiving treatment in a state-run Beirut hospital, a ministry source told AFP, adding that he had recently returned from Egypt.



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