Cairo: Egypt has dismissed as “rumours” claims that it is covering up an outbreak of the new coronavirus in the populous country.
Over the past days, claims have gone viral on social media that there has been a spike in the number of infections in Egypt, a country of 100 million people, and that authorities have covered up the alleged outbreak.
France has also reported that two of its nationals, who were recently in Egypt, tested positive for the virus, named Covid-19.
Egypt has confirmed two viral cases among a Chinese and a Canadian so far.
Several government officials have denied a Covid-19 outbreak in Egypt.
“The claims about a cover-up on the scale of infections are mere rumours,” Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli said.
“We announce everything with complete transparency and will never hide anything,” he added in media remarks. “Don’t be misled by what is published on social media.”
Some lawmakers in Kuwait, the country with the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the Middle East after Iran, have called for halting flights with Egypt, claiming there are a higher number of infections in Egypt than declared.
“If Egypt does not want to announce the number of infections among its citizens, this is up to them,” Kuwaiti MP Safa Al Hashemi said. “It doesn’t make sense that a country of this size [Egypt] has no corona,” she told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Qabas.
“We have to take the required measures to protect our country and people from this epidemic. Citizens should be reassured by taking the proper decisions such as halting entry visas,” Al Hashemi added.
According to Al Qabas, Kuwait has stopped issuing entry visas for Egyptians “until further notice” as part of the Gulf country’s precautions against coronavirus.
But spokesman for the Egyptian government Nader Saad denied there is an official confirmation of the reported Kuwaiti ban. Egypt has a large community of around 644,000 people in Kuwait, according to official Kuwaiti figures.
Coronavirus has claimed more than 3,000 lives around the globe since December when it broke out in China where the virus originated.
In a gesture of “solidarity”, Egypt has sent its Health Minister Dr Hala Zayed to China with a shipment of medical supplies, the spokesman for the Egyptian government said.
“Another aim of the visit is to obtain from China the latest information about how to deal with coronavirus, given that China is the country with the widest experience in tackling this disease,” Saad said lated in a Monday.
During the visit, China presented to Egypt 1,000 kits on the Covid in a sign of appreciation, Egyptian media reported Tuesday.