Saturday, March 7, 2020

Coronavirus on the Nile : The Nile “Cruise” Corona cases jump to 34 cases , PCR analysis prices and more Gulf travel restrictions on Egyptian “Updated”

Corona Hot Chocolate Ad from Egypt
The same Corona ad every time
Just from a couple of minutes ago in Cairo, Egypt’s minister of health Hala Zayed announced Saturday evening that new 33 cases tested positive for Coronavirus from the passengers on that Nile Cruise that witnessed the largest outbreak of the virus in the country.

In a press conference held with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister Zayed stated that only one case of suspected 12 Coronavirus cases from the Egyptian crew tested positive while the rest 11 tested negative.
She also added that the 11 are currently quarantined on the board of the ship in Luxor after its sanitization.
Now to the new 33 cases, it turned out that there were also on the board of the Nile Cruise.
The 34 cases are going to be transferred to the Naegla Hospital in Marsa Matrouh as said in the presser.

“There were 171 people on the board of the cruise ship including 101 foreigners and 70 Egyptians and after discovering the outbreak zone, we confirmed that 45 Coronavirus cases were on the board of the ship including 19 foreigners,” Hala Zayed said.

The health minister added that the US-Twainian tourist was the index case of the Coronavirus. 
The outbreak of the virus on the cruise is reportedly happened in Mid February according to what I have been reading.

According to Egyptian local media like Pro-regime Youm 7, “M/S  Sara” was the misfortunate Nile Cruise that witnessed the outbreak. It is owned by MS River Anuket and it is popular abroad from what I have found. I found out that its prices for foreigners started from USD 230 per person for 4 days so its prices are affordable for tourists. The 5-stars-cruiser started operating in 2005 and was renovated in 2015 according to Akhbar Al-Youm. Shocking news to the owner of the company, he is abroad and returning to see what he can do. It is the last thing I guess he thought about. 

It is a bad time for Cruises whether sea cruises or river cruises as it seems.

Nile Cruises between Luxor and Aswan are popular destinations for Upper and Middle Egyptian families during the Mid vacation year in late January and early February because of the warm weather.

New York Times reported that until last week there are at least 26 foreign tourists that tested positive after returning from Egypt to their countries including 11 Greek tourists whom we knew nothing about in the media and six French “first foreign cases we heard about” as well as seven Americans including the cases on M/S  Sara.
Again this is a very big hit to the tourism sector in Egypt.

PCR analysis is available for everybody in Egypt but for a tag price.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health announced that citizens can have a PCR analysis in the ministry’s central labs across the country.
The results of the PCR will be available within two days.
Now the price of the PCR ranges between LE 900 to LE 1000 “USD 57.55 to USD 63.45”.
I know it seems in the US dollar nothing but in the Egyptian pound, this is something. In fact an expensive something.
It is expensive for the Middle class and the Working Class families can’t afford especially if they have more than two children and for instance old pensioners. Old pensioners are the most vulnerable to the Coronavirus as we have seen so far.
I do not know if the PCR analysis can be included by the Medical insurance systems provided by the companies or the professions syndicate.
The government and the WHO Egypt should find a way to provide it either for free for certain ages and classes or at least for reduced prices.

More Gulf Countries’ travel restrictions on Egyptians

Yes, more travel restrictions have been imposed by the Gulf countries especially Kuwait on Egyptian travelers on Saturday following the announcement of more Coronavirus cases in the country.

Kuwait announced that it had suspended the flights to and from for seven countries including Egypt starting from Saturday for one week.
The other six countries are Bangladesh, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Syria and Lebanon.
EgyptAir started to implement the decision starting from Saturday suspending its daily flights to Kuwait.

Kuwaiti Ministry of health announced that all people who arrived in Kuwait from Egypt, India , Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Syria and Lebanon are obliged compulsory home quarantine for a period of two weeks from the departure of these countries.
Kuwaiti government decided also to deport all Kuwaiti Nationals from Egypt and asked Kuwaiti citizens to contact their embassy as soon as possible.
These decisions are making many Egyptians angry because the number of Coronavirus in Kuwait has been so far higher than Egypt and actually its cases were all imported from Iran. Some Egyptians are demanding the government to treat Kuwait like Qatar.

Moving to Oman , the Omani General directorate for civil aviation decided to suspend all unscheduled flights between the Sultanate and Egypt for a whole month starting from 8 March. The Sultanate also decided all Egyptian residents in it arriving from Cairo should provide a pre-examination PCR certificate upon their entry to prove that they do not carry COVID-19 and they will also stay in compulsory home quarantine for 14 days too.

Saudi Arabia began also to take precautionary procedures against Coronavirus and its ministry of health issued a statement on Saturday saying that Citizens returning from Egypt, Italy, South Korea and Lebanon are recommended to stay in a compulsory home quarantine as a preventive measure.

It won’t stop of course.

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