Egypt’s Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday that seven new cases have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in Egypt to 67.
The ministry stated that the new cases were in contact with the other positive cases of coronavirus announced earlier, which include 45 cases on a Nile cruise ship in Luxor, and a German tourist in Hurghada.
The seven new cases include six Egyptians and one foreigner.
Of the total number of cases, eight have been fully recovered. Seven cases have been discharged from the isolation hospital on Wednesday out of a total of 27 cases who tested negative for coronavirus, including the first recovery of the first case of coronavirus.
Sixty-three tourists who were in contact with other infected travelers traveled to their home countries on Tuesday and Wednesday after spending a period in quarantine and testing negative, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
Egypt affirmed that it continues to raise its readiness to monitor and take all the necessary measures in coordination with the World Health Organization, and a hotline 105 has been created to receive citizens’ inquiries regarding the virus.
The health ministry is also posting daily updates of new cases, and assures that the issue will be dealt with in full transparency in accordance with international health regulations.
The government also suspended large gathering events such as religious festivals, concerts, exhibitions, and called in schools to suspend activities like sports and music events.
Coronavirus Declared ‘Pandemic’
The viral disease that has swept at least 114 countries worldwide and killed more than 4,000 people is now officially a pandemic, the World Health Organization declared on Wednesday.
“In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths and the number of affected countries climb even higher,” WHO Director-General Tedros declared at a briefing in Geneva, “We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.”
By declaring the coronavirus a pandemic, this makes it the first time the WHO has called an outbreak a pandemic since the H1N1 “swine flu” in 2009, and puts the coronavirus in a different category than the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Zika virus outbreak in 2016.
Effect on Tourism And Economy
The outbreak of the virus shed light on the globalized nature of international tourism and the global economy, as the the International Air Transport Association predicted that the coronavirus will reduce global airline revenue by $29.3 billion in 2020.
President Trump announced on Wednesday night that he is suspending most travel from Europe – excluding Britain – to the United States for 30 days, beginning on Friday.
Saudi Arabia also banned travel to 9 countries on Monday, including Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Korea, Egypt, Italy and Iran.
The Saudi Ministry of Health also announced on Wednesday 24 new cases of the coronavirus, 21 of them were of Egyptian nationality and who were in contact with another Egyptian visitor announced on Tuesday.
Other countries have also banned travel to Egypt, including Lebanon and Jordan.
With China being the largest crude oil importer, the reduction in global economic activity following the outbreak of the virus has lowered the demand for oil drastically.
The sinking demand led to an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, with Saudi Arabia cutting prices by its most in at least 20 years and reducing oil price by 21%.
Stock markets also crashed, Business Insider’s Theron Mohamed reported.