Egyptian information minister self-isolates over possible coronavirus infection

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Thu, 18 Jun 2020 - 01:26 GMT

FILE – Minister of State for Information Osama Heikal

FILE – Minister of State for Information Osama Heikal

CAIRO – 18 June 2020: Egypt’s Minster of State for Information Osama Heikal said he has self-isolated after he came in contact with a coronavirus (COVID-19) patient. Heikal said he would stay isolated for several days.

Sources revealed that Heikal will undergo some tests during the coming hours.

Heikal has been active during the past few months to announce the state’s measures amid the coronavirus crisis.

Last week, Minister of Housing Assem el-Gazar announced self-isolating at home for two weeks after he accidentally came in contact with a coronavirus positive case.

According to an official statement published by the Housing Ministry, the minister will self-shelter for fear of being infected by the virus.

Gazzar told state’s Akhbar Al-Youm that he has not tested positive for the novel coronavirus but he self-isolated after he found that an attendee of one of his meetings few days earlier has contracted coronavirus.

Gazzar said he has not developed any symptoms so far and is following up on his work from home.

Earlier in June, an Egyptian Parliament member representing Qalyub constituency north of the capital, Cairo, has tested positive for coronavirus, the House of Representatives’ General Secretariat said in a statement.

Parliament Member Hussein Ashmawi has been tested after he has suffered some respiratory symptoms, the Secretariat said, adding that he has moved to one of the hospitals in Giza, in lower Egypt, and that his health condition has been so far stable.

Late in May, Egyptian Parliament Member Eid Heikal, who represents Al-Marg constituency in the north-east of Cairo, has tested positive for the novel virus, the House said in a statement.

Heikal has been moved to a private hospital in Cairo after he suffered some respiratory symptoms and was found to be coronavirus positive, the House said, noting that his health condition is stable.

Earlier in the same month, Parliament’s deputy Suleiman Wahdan said MP Shereen Farrag has tested positive for the virus before she was isolated at Kasr El Aini hospital in Cairo to receive medical treatment.

Wahdan added in press statements that the parliament’s chambers have been sterilized and evacuated according to the Ministry of Health’s instruction to prevent the spread of the infectious virus. He pointed out that the member of parliament will receive the medical treatment offered to any Egyptian citizen.

Later, sons of Farrag were found to have contracted the COVID-19, a senior MP said.

All the MPs who attended the meeting of the planning committee with Farrag have been tested, after they had come into contact with the infected parliamentarian, MP Yasser Omar, deputy head of the Parliament’s Planning and Budgetary Committee.

Parliament Member Talaat Khalil, who sat next to Farrag during the meeting tested negative for the virus, Omar said, noting that the committee will stop its meetings for a week.

Khalil announced he will self-isolate for 14 days, saying he exchanged talks with the infected Parliament member. However, he said the preliminary results of the tests he underwent were reassuring.

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