Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Egyptian authorities impose a 14-day quarantine on Al-Moatamadeyah in Giza governorate from April 7 to combat the spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects Egypt

This alert began 07 Apr 2020 23:05 GMT and is scheduled to expire 07 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Preventive restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through April
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions, heightened securtiy

Summary
Authorities in Giza governorate imposed a 14-day quarantine on the town of Al-Moatamadeyah from April 7 to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Al-Moatamadeyah is a town located on the Western outskirts of Cairo. Authorities in Giza governorate stated that they will work to provide residents of Al-Moatamadeyah with necessities such as medicine, baby formula, and ambulances.

The Egyptian government previously announced a series of preventive restrictions March 24 to combat the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions include:

  • Nationwide 1900-0600 curfew through at least April 9; individuals who violate the decree will be penalized under the emergency laws and face up to EGPT 4,000 (USD 253) in fines;
  • Suspension of air traffic at all of the nation's airports through April 15;
  • Suspension of all modes of private and public transport during curfew hours;
  • Government institutions will be closed through mid-April, except those working in security, healthcare, and other critical fields;
  • Disinfection of all hotels and tourist spots;
  • Nationwide closure of all nonessential businesses from 1700 daily; restaurants are restricted to delivery services only. The closure order does not apply to pharmacies or grocery stores;
  • A ban on all large social gatherings, including sporting events and concerts, until further notice; the ban includes the closure of mosques and churches;
  • Closure of schools and universities nationwide through at least April 15.


Further travel restrictions and other preventative measures are possible, depending on the evolution of the disease activity in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
Egypt's travel restrictions and preventive measures correspond with similar actions other governments are taking globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all business appointments and travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int