Egyptian authorities announced on Wednesday, August 19, that new entry restrictions will be implemented from September 1, in an effort to curb the further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the new restrictions, all travelers, including Egyptian nationals, will be required to present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon entry into the country.
Egypt began easing restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the COVID-19 from the end of June. Whilst most sections of the economy have reopened, many must adhere to restricted capacity criteria and other health measures. Public transport has resumed but is prohibited from operating between 00:00 and 04:00. The wearing of face masks is mandatory in closed public spaces, including government building, private offices, malls, retail outlets, and on public transport, including taxis.
As of Thursday, August 20, health authorities have confirmed a total of 96,914 COVID-19 cases with 5197 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay. To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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