Cairo: Egyptian authorities have said that all arrivals from countries where variants of the coronavirus have appeared will undergo a quick rapid test in a bid to curb the spread of new strains to the populous country.
The Health Ministry said that the 15-minute molecular test, known as ID Now, will be applied to Egyptian and foreign arrivals from those countries at different entry points in Egypt.
“The quick ID Now test is characterised by precision and ability to detect the virus within 15 minutes only,” a statement quoted Health Minister Dr Hala Zayed as saying. Those passengers will also undergo medical examinations, she added.
The ministry did not specify the countries from which passengers will undergo the test, or when the measure will take effect.
All passengers coming to Egypt are required to present a negative PCR test result to be allowed entry into the country.
Last week, Egypt started enforcing new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections in the country. The two-week curbs include early closure of malls, shops, coffee shops and restaurants.
Concerts and other artistic activities are also banned during the same period, while parks and beaches are shut down during the Eid Al Fitr holiday starting later this week.
Egyptian authorities have recently banned mass celebrations amid fears of a spike in infection rates during the holy month of Ramadan noted for social gatherings.
Egypt, a country of over 100 million people, Saturday night reported 1,1132 new coronavirus cases and 66 deaths. The latest cases have brought the country’s infection tally to 236,272 cases and 13,845 related fatalities.