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Sunday, 22 March 2020

Talk shows cover covid-19 updates, mosques, churches shutting down

All covid, all the time: The nation’s talking heads — like the rest of the world — continued to be squarely focused on the coronavirus last night.

The daily covid-19 update: Masaa DMC's Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 1:22) and Min Masr’s Amr Khalil (watch, runtime: 2:11) reviewed the latest covid-19 updates from the Health Ministry, noting an additional nine cases on Saturday have brought the total number of confirmed cases to 294. El Hekaya’s Amr Adib spoke by phone with ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed who said that the country’s containment efforts have so far been successful as they haven’t had to resort to the extreme measures prepared in the event that the case count tops 1k. He also noted that the rate of new cases has been decreasing in the past few days (watch, runtime: 2:47), (watch, runtime: 1:47).

Houses of worship closed: Al Hayah Al Youm’s Hossam Hadad covered the Endowments Ministry’s decision to close all mosques and suspend Friday prayers for two weeks, and the Coptic Orthodox Church’s decision to close all churches and suspend mass and other religious activities until further notice (watch, runtime: 6:56), (watch, runtime: 5:21). Adib also covered the news (watch, runtime: 5:53), as did El Hosary (watch, runtime: 0:47),(watch, runtime: 1:06), who also noted the Tourism Ministry’s decision to close museums and archeological sites (watch, runtime: 0:18).

University final exams postponed: Hadad covered the Higher Education Ministry’s announcement that end-of-term exams will be cancelled should the two-week onsite suspension of studies continue. Students will only sit for end of year exams, which have been postponed until after 30 May. (watch, runtime: 2:35). Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 0:55) and Min Masr’s Amr Khalil (watch, runtime: 2:29) also had the report.

CBE hikes e-payment limit: Hosary noted the Central Bank of Egypt’s decision to raise the limits of electronic payments via mobile phones to EGP 30k pounds per day and EGP 100k per month (watch, runtime: 0:16). We have more on this in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Pharma giant Sanofi will announce its potential covid-19 treatment within weeks, the company's chairman and managing director in Egypt and Sudan Christelle Saghbin told Adib on Friday night (watch: 5:14). The company has tested a rheumatoid medicine on 36 covid-19 patients and has shown results in 70% of the cases in under a week.

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