Egypt’s Ministry of Health announced on Friday evening that it had recorded 495 new COVID-19 infections and 21 new deaths since Thursday evening.
The increase means a total of 8,476 have been infected in Egypt since the start of the outbreak and 503 have died.
The Ministry of Health also announced that the number of patients who have fully recovered has reached 1,945.
The news will place further strain on Egypt’s health system. Earlier this week, Egypt’s quarantine hospitals have reached maximum capacity. The revelation came in an address by Assistant to the Minister of Health Ahmed Al Sobky to the House of Representatives’ Health Affairs Committee, Egypt Independent reports.
Yesterday, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said that the government had done the best it can to delay the spread of the virus, but that a balance must be maintained between health and the economy, warning that a full lock-down threatens the country’s economy.
The Egyptian Prime Minister also asked the Egyptian population to do more to prevent the spread of the virus.
Marking the start of Ramadan two weeks ago, the Egyptian government eased some restrictions, including by shortening the hours of curfew by two hours. The curfew now lasts nine hours between 9PM to 6AM.
However, there have been increased reports of the curfew being ignored by Egyptians across the country, raising fears that the Egyptian population is not doing enough to curb the spread. Additionally, during the hours outside the curfew, reports suggest Egyptians are not effectively exercising social distancing in many towns and cities across the country, increasing the spread of the virus.