FILE - Philae Temple in Aswan
CAIRO – 16 June 2020: Since the closure of Egypt's ancient sites on March 19 because of the COVID-19 epidemic, Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has been working to prepare the sites and museums for reopening.
The question that begs itself is, if a decision is made to gradually open archaeological sites in Aswan in July, what are the first of these sites that will be re-opened?
Abdel Moneim Said, director general of Aswan and Nubia antiquities, said that all archaeological sites in Aswan are ready to reopen once a decision is made, as life is expected to return to normal in July, and sites are set to open gradually.
Moneim further clarified to the press that among the first sites that will be ready to receive tourists are the temples of Abu Simbel and Philae.
Additionally, Moneim stated that the rest of the museums should be opened gradually, while imposing strict precautionary measures, to prevent the spread of the novel virus.
“At the present time, we are sanitizing all open areas in Aswan every week, deploying morning and evening patrols, to prevent any possible harm to the antiquities,” said Moneim.
Furthermore, Moneim added that restoration is underway with a daily group of 4 or 5 individuals, taking all the precautionary measures and wearing face-masks and gloves, where all accumulated waste and dust is raised.
The Director General of Archeology of Aswan and Nubia pointed out that all Egyptian missions in the western Aswan region and the Temple of Isis continue to operate, but with a fewer staff members and within tight precautionary measures, in accordance with the instructions of the Egyptian government to battle the coronavirus epidemic.