Egypt tests nationals returning from Europe for coronavirus: sources

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Fri, 27 Mar 2020 - 03:10 GMT

Passengers, some of them wearing protective masks, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), arrive at Luxor International Airport, Egypt March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Passengers, some of them wearing protective masks, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), arrive at Luxor International Airport, Egypt March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

CAIRO – 27 March 2020: Quarantine authorities in Cairo International Airport on Thursday declared the state of emergency, to test Egyptians coming from Brussels on a flight operated by the Egyptian flag carrier, EgyptAir, for coronavirus, Emirati 24.ae reported.

The medical teams prepared to test around 150 Egyptians for the novel coronavirus, who had been stuck in Belgium and some other European countries, sources revealed.

The authorities also kept a list of their names to monitor their health condition for 14 days, in coordination with the health directorates they belong to, the sources added.

EgyptAir on Thursday morning operated a flight from Cairo to Brussels, through Hurghada, to move Belgian and European visitors who had been stuck in Egypt, and also to return dozens of Egyptians stuck in some European states.

Last week, Egyptian Ambassador in Oman Mohamed Ghoneim said final steps are now taken to coordinate with EgyptAir and obtain the required permits and official approvals, to operate an exceptional flight to Cairo.

In an interview with Egypt Today, Ghoneim said the date of the flight and prices of tickets would be announced later, once procedures are finished.

However, the flight is expected to start from Muscat, the capital of Oman, at dawn, to arrive in Egypt by 7 a.m., Ghoneim noted, citing initial information.

Egypt’s Health Ministry announced Thursday that 39 new cases have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of infections in Egypt to 495.

Health Ministry Spokesman Khaled Megahed said that seven coronavirus cases were discharged from isolation hospitals after receiving necessary medical care as per WHO's technical guidelines, taking the total number of recoveries to 102.

The recovered cases included one foreigner and six Egyptians, he added.

Egypt recorded three new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities from the virus to 24, he noted.

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