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Sunday, 1 March 2020

Covid-19 in Egypt, GERD talks dominate Egypt’s talk shows

Hurghada Airport is prepared for covid-19: Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal discussed Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly’s visit to the quarantine facilities at the airport (watch, runtime: 2:32), part of a wider trip to governorate. He commented on the French Health Ministry’s announcement on two tourists infected with covid-19 who were in Egypt, noting that they were on tourist visas and no longer here. He added that the hotel they were staying at, its workers, and the tourist group they associated with had all been inspected. We have more on this in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Never mind the masks? El Hosary spoke with Cabinet Spokesman Nader Saad by phone, who said that Egypt has the capabilities to detect “any person” infected with covid-19. He added that parents shouldn't panic and that there was no need to compel children to wear surgical masks, which he added would only cause a mask shortage and raise prices (watch, runtime: 17:10).

(On that front, Saad’s comments exactly echo those of the US Surgeon General, who took to Twitter on the weekend to declare “Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS. They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if health care providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk.)

Covid-19 will likely strike Egypt: El Hekaya’s Amr Adib spoke with Health Minister Hala Zayed by phone. The minister noted that none of the four cases flagged by other governments were still in Egypt and said their places of residence during their time here have been “inspected” (watch, runtime: 3:17). She added, however, that no country is immune to an outbreak and that while precautionary measures were in place there is still a “high probability” that the virus will arrive in Egypt. Min Masr’s Amr Khalil (watch, runtime: 11:50), (watch, runtime: 2:22) also covered the story.

Ethiopia's GERD no-show not well received: Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary spoke of Ethiopia’s “unjustified absence … at this crucial stage” of talks about the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam in Washington, DC (watch, runtime: 13:12), (watch, runtime: 13:12). She referred to the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s latest statement on the GERD’s filling and operating agreement signed on March 23, 2015. She said that Egypt showing up to sign conveyed “seriousness in achieving goals and objectives” and hoped Sudan and Ethiopia would do the same. Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal (watch, runtime: 6:26) also discussed Ethiopia’s absence from the latest round of talks.

Ethiopia out of line? El Hekaya’s Amr Adib took it a step further by saying Ethiopia had for the first time in nine years of dam negotiations demonstrated “clear antagonism” with its absence from the talks and request for further review (watch, runtime: 2:26), (watch, runtime: 6:00). He lauded the US Treasury department for insisting that the talks were “no joke,” and stressing that it was “not permissible” that Ethiopia proceed with plans to begin filling the dam’s reservoir in June until it had signed the agreement with Egypt and Sudan (watch, runtime: 14:19). Again, we have the full story in Speed Round, below.

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