Health Ministry coordinates with airlines to fight coronavirus
Deputy Minister for Preventive Medicine Amr Kandil - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Preventing the spread of coronavirus infections from those returning from Saudi Arabia is the focus of Ministry of Health in coordination with airlines, Undersecretary of the Ministry Health Affairs of Preventive Medicine Amr Kandil told Youm7 Thursday.

“The health ministry will raise the airline crew members’ awareness of coronavirus symptoms, including fever, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath and coughing in order to immediately inform the airport quarantine doctors who would conduct full medical checks on them upon arrival,” Kandil said.

“The plan set by the ministry aims to discover the disease early and to limit and control the spreading of the disease if it appears in Egypt,” Kandil said.

“24 Egyptians were suspected of having coronavirus, however medical reports confirmed they were negative,” he added.

The Ministry of Health cautioned those who were considering performing the Hajj and Umrah this year, especially the elderly, chronically ill and children, in a Wednesday statement.

Those over 60 years old, children and pregnant women should postpone making Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages this year, member of the Islamic Research Academy Abdallah al-Najjar told Youm7 Thursday.

“There were no travel bans until now because of MERS, and the ministry’s announcement was just a recommendation,” Mustafa Abdel-Latif, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism, and Chairman of the Central Administration of companies told Youm7 Thursday.

On April 29, Saudi Arabia Health Minister-designate Adel Faqih told a news conference about the progress of coronavirus, and advised refraining from consuming meat or milk from camels, which are known to carry the virus.

Director of the Cairo Health Directorate in Cairo Hossam Khatib told Youm7 Thursday that the person infected with coronavirus is slowly improving, with her condition now stable at Abasseya hospital.

Egypt discovered its first case of the potentially deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in an Egyptian citizen who had recently returned from Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Health said April 26.

Saudi Arabia, which has been hardest-hit by the MERS virus, announced Thursday it had 9 stable cases, seven in intensive care,  and two people deaths in Tabuk  and Riyadh cites. On April 26 the Saudi Health Ministry announced that the country had 313 confirmed cases.

MERS is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died, according to AFP.

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a report stating that 89 people have died from coronavirus out of 213 since November 2012, according to Egypt Independent.

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