Egypt reports seven new coronavirus cases, increasing total to 67

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Egypt has registered seven new coronavirus cases bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 67, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Of the total number, at least 45 cases have been detected on a River Nile cruise ship in the popular tourist destination of Luxor, and a German tourist who died in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

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Twenty-seven people of the registered cases have recovered and eight of them were released from a quarantine hospital, including six Egyptians and two foreigners, the health ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Egypt took several measures to reassure travellers that it is safe to visit after the virus outbreak on the Nile ship, including testing hundreds of tourists and tourism workers for coronavirus, and sanitising hotel facilities and cruise ships in Luxor and Aswan.

The tourism sector is an important source of hard currency for Egypt.

Sixty-three tourists on board the infected Nile ship travelled to their home countries on Tuesday and Wednesday after spending a period in quarantine and testing negative, the tourism and antiquaries ministry said on Wednesday.

The government also decided to suspend events that include big gatherings such as religious festivals, concerts, exhibitions and concerts.

On Wednesday, the education ministry ordered schools to suspend activities like sports and music events, but insisted study would not be stopped, the state news agency MENA said.

In an apparent move to prevent public panic, security services detained three people over spreading false information about coronavirus on their Facebook account, MENA said.

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