Egypt’s Interior Ministry denies reports of COVID-19 infections among prisoners



Sun, 17 May 2020 - 10:10 GMT


Sun, 17 May 2020 - 10:10 GMT

FILE – A part of a disinfection campaign inside Al-Muqattam prison

FILE – A part of a disinfection campaign inside Al-Muqattam prison

CAIRO – 17 May 2020: The Egyptian Interior Ministry early on Sunday has “totally” denied reports that some detainees in a prominent police station in Cairo have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), a statement by the ministry’s media center said.

This comes as reports by Turkish-based TV channel Mekameleen, known for hostility toward the Egyptian state, have quoted human rights sources as saying that some of the detainees in Nasr City Police Department 1 have contracted the novel virus.

The center said such reports were published by some channels affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood group and that these reports come within the framework of the attempts of these “seditious” channels to spread rumors and confusion in public opinion.

Since the coronavirus crisis started, the ministry has published photos for disinfection campaigns inside prisons. Also, family visits to the inmates have been suspended.

The Egyptian state has focused on refuting rumors and urging citizens to take information only from official and credible sources.

Those who intentionally spread rumors about the novel coronavirus can face a five-year imprisonment sentence, the public prosecution said late in March. In a press statement, the prosecution said that legal actions will be taken in conformity with articles no. (80), (102) and (188) of the criminal law.

The Health Ministry on Saturday said 491 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Egypt recently, bringing the total number of cases to 11719.

The ministry also reported 20 deaths due to the novel virus, bringing the total number to 612.

Also, the test results of 3,526 people turned from positive to negative, the ministry said, including 2,950 people who totally recovered. It added that 151 patients left hospitals.

On May 14, Egypt released a coexistence plan to deal with the coronavirus pandemic over the coming period. The government highlights the importance of abiding by precautionary measures while preparing to gradually resume the normal life cycle.



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