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Sunday, 5 April 2020

Covid-19 updates continue to top coverage on Egypt’s talk shows

Daily case rundown from the Health Ministry: Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary and Min Masr’s Amr Khalil recapped the Health Ministry’s daily covid-19 update, which reported 85 new cases and five new deaths yesterday. A total of 25 individuals have been released from the hospital, pushing up the number of recoveries to 241 (watch, runtime: 1:34 and runtime: 2:14).

Full lockdown will only be imposed once we hit 1k cases per day, Heikal says: With more than 1,000 cases within 48 days, the trajectory of covid-19 infections is still a relatively muted curve, and hasn’t seen any sudden or major spikes, Information Minister Osama Heikal told Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi. The government is ready to impose a hard lockdown if the infection rate reaches 1,000 per day — which he noted would effectively grind the economy to a complete halt — but that we’re not at that point yet (watch, runtime: 10:13).

Investigation into cancer institute outbreak: Authorities are investigating the infection of 17 members of the National Cancer Institute’s medical staff members, and have so far tested 413 individuals who were in contact with the infected cases, Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib. A total of 500 people will be tested. The vast majority of those infected were asymptomatic, making it difficult to determine where the outbreak originated, Abdel Ghaffar said (watch, runtime: 2:11 and runtime: 3:03).

Construction work is resuming, but not without precautions: Construction workers are getting back to work at lower capacities than usual to prevent an outbreak of covid-19, Palm Hills Developments Chairman Yassin Mansour said in a phone-in with El Hadidi. He slammed previous calls to resume work as normal across all industries, saying that such a move would actually bring greater disruption to the economy with a spike in deaths. Mansour also called on the government to provide companies with test kits to use at their own expense (watch, runtime: 6:23).

Egypt could follow Germany’s model of mass testing to minimize the death rate from the virus by allowing for early intervention, businessman Tamer Wagih told Adib. Wagih pointed to testing kits that produce results within five minutes and with 90% accuracy as a feasible option for Egypt to use on a large scale (watch, runtime: 7:32).

In (kind of) non-covid news: Min Masr’s Amr Khalil took note of the Central Bank of Egypt’s decision to expand its EGP 100 bn industry initiative. We have the full story in this morning’s Speed Round, below (watch, runtime: 0:43).

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