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Sunday, 31 May 2020

Egypt’s talk shows on 30 May 2020

The nation’s airwaves had wall-to-wall covid-19 coverage and commentary last night as we entered a new two-week period of semi-lockdown measures.

Egypt is currently approaching its peak infection rate and community spread phase, Information Minister Osama Heikal told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib. While the government had been hoping to flatten the curve earlier and put a cap on the outbreak by the end of June, this scenario now seems unlikely, Heikal said. Authorities will be sitting down with medical experts today to listen to their medical opinions on procedures, Heikal noted (watch, runtime: 4:54).

A full lockdown doesn’t appear to be in the cards: Heikal downplayed the notion that the government could move to impose a full lockdown in response to the rising number of cases, telling Adib that he doesn’t see any real benefits from going for a full lockdown, particularly since many youth are asymptomatic carriers who infect their family members at home (watch, runtime: 2:47).

No, you do not need to wear a mask in your own car: Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad reassured Adib that there are no punitive measures in place for individuals who do not wear a face mask while in their personal vehicles, even if there are other passengers with them in the car. Saad stressed that the requirement for face masks is in place for public transport such as the metro, microbuses, and trains (watch, runtime: 12:02). The Transport Ministry and Armed Forces are teaming up to sell 1 mn masks at train and metro ticket offices to ensure passengers comply with the rules, Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir told Adib (watch, runtime: 4:13).

The Madbouly Cabinet will look into resuming international flights in mid-June or at the beginning of July during its next meeting this week, Saad told ‘Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 2:03). Also on this week’s meeting agenda: When houses of worship will be allowed to fully reopen, Saad told Adib.

Patients who exhibit any covid-19 symptoms are now immediately being treated while waiting for test results, which can take up to three days, advisor to the Health Minister for emergency and urgent care Sherif Wadie told Adib. Waiting for confirmation of their infection increases the likelihood that these patients would need ICU care, so administering treatment earlier is expected to cut down on the total number of patients admitted to the ICU (watch, runtime: 1:55).

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