Egyptians tend to take serious trending topics with a hint of satire; no matter what's happening, we're finding a reason to laugh – though usually at ourselves. It's more fun this way. But there’s always the dark, serious undertone of realizing that ‘shit, this might be serious’ then we go back to joking about it anyway. With the world not talking much about anything other than the Coronavirus, Egypt has spent time finding the light, funny side of it – or create one. Whether you think Coronavirus is the end of the world or you’ve done a bit of research and know that influenza kills ten times more people every year, you’ve certainly passed by the phase of mass panic across headlines everywhere.
Countries have been on lockdown, universities and schools put on hold, China has become a desert town, Saudi Arabia suspended umrah and locked its doors to Egyptians, and Dubai airport has done their part of extreme measures to ensure the virus doesn’t spread in the emirate, but what about the measures that Egypt has been taking to battle this fast-spreading virus other than stopping flights to and from China?
As of March 9th, there were 55 cases of COVID-19 reported in Egypt and one death. Of these 55 cases, 12 of them were reported to be found on Egypt’s Nile River ship and have since then been admitted to a hospital. According to Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed – who just returned from a trip to China, all suspected cases are currently quarantined and monitored. With the numbers increasing and triggering minor havoc, people have been putting travel plans on hold, either in fear of catching the virus in the mayhem of airports or fearing that they wouldn’t be permitted entry to the country.
But with all the news, Egypt’s situation is not yet apparent. According to the Washington Post, hot air balloon rides in Luxor have been suspended to avoid situations where a large number of people are squeezed into a small space. Aside from suspension of hot air balloon rides, sanitation at all hotels and cruise ships in Luxor is also getting extra attention in light of the new cases, as well as cancelation of the Luxor African Cinema Festival. Yet all sites are still open, and as crowded as ever. Other than Luxor, Egypt has also postponed an economic forum that was planned to be held by Egypt’s Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) for preventive measures.
As of now, tourists in Luxor are still visiting all of its historical sites, but squeezing Coronavirus tests and some sanitizer in between.
Source: Washington Post