In Pics: Egypt’s Tourism & Antiquities minister visits GEM to follow up on its latest developments

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Mon, 13 Apr 2020 - 07:22 GMT

Egypt's Minister of Tourism & Antiquities Khaled el-Anani during an inspecting tour in GEM - ET

Egypt's Minister of Tourism & Antiquities Khaled el-Anani during an inspecting tour in GEM - ET

CAIRO - 13 April 2020:Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled el-Anani visited the Grand Egyptian Museum in Al-Remaya Square on April 13.

Anani visited the museum to follow up on the latest developments in the project and its work plan during the current period, in light of the preventive measures taken by the government to fight the novel coronavirus.

During the inspection tour, Anani was accompanied by the General Supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum and its surrounding area Atef Moftah, Director of the Museum for Archaeological Affairs Al-Tayeb Abbas, and a number of leaders of the ministry and the museum.

The tour included a visit to the Archaeology Restoration Center, Wood Restoration Laboratory, where some of the artifacts of King Tutankhamun are being restored, in addition to other wooden parts. Anani also inspected the museum’s construction site.

Anani stated that the development work of the museum did not stop despite the coronavirus crisis, and that is in accordance to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's decision to resume works on major projects.

The Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities also pointed out that currently 1700 laborers are working in the museum, in addition to about 300 engineers and supervisors representing 33 Egyptian companies out of a total of 65 companies, completing work at the museum at a rate of 50 percent per day, as the number of workers and restorers has been reduced within the site as a precautionary measure taken by the state to prevent and protect from COVID-19.

Anani further added that an organized plan is being developed to gradually increase the employment capacity, while taking all preventive and precautionary measures against the novel coronavirus.

The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities said that the Ministry is now working on creating a guide pertaining to the visitors of museums, archaeological sites and hotels, the provisions of this guide will be applied after COVID-19 crises comes to an end. These instructions will monitor visitors standing in queues to purchase the tickets in museums and archaeological sites, in addition to supervising the number of visitors inside the exhibition halls, as well as the number of visitors to restaurants and cafeterias.

For his part, Atef Moftah stated the work in the Grand Egyptian Museum did not stop at all, as the museum officials took all safety precautions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, where daily sterilization and disinfection of the project’s site, restoration laboratories and administrative offices are taking place.

Moftah further emphasized that workers are medically examined daily to see if any of them has any symptoms while entering the museum in the morning and leaving in the evening, without any exceptions, using a laser thermometer.

Moreover, Moftah further stated that workers in the museum pass through the sterilization corridor before entering the project, with medical masks distributed to them, in addition to hanging signs illustrating safety tips such as refraining from hand shakes and to implement social distancing, and distributing an informative leaflet for all workers, so that it can be applied in all places of the project.

Also, Moftah further explained that a training course with all museum staff to raise awareness of the virus and ways to prevent it is held regularly.

In addition, Moftah clarified that the process of disinfection and sterilization in the museum is not only held while the staff enter in the morning, but is also implemented during the rest periods, which is divided into three periods to ensure the distribution of densities and to avoid gatherings. The sterilization and disinfecting process is repeated again during the end of the work day.

It is worth noting that two sterilization lanes/corridors have been implemented on site to reach the project's full work capacity after the sterilization and disinfection procedures have been completed.

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Part of the inspecting tour to the Grand Egyptian Museum held on April 13, 2020 - ET

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