Egypt detects 33 new coronavirus cases on detained Nile cruiser
London, March 8, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Egypt’s health minister Hala Zayed said on Saturday that the number of coronavirus cases on board the Luxor Nile cruiser has risen to 45.
The minister’s remarks came at a press conference on Saturday announcing that 33 new cases have tested positive.
Zayed said the infected include 19 foreigners.
She noted that the boat carried 171 people on board, including 101 foreigners and 70 Egyptians.
Zayed explained that the Preventive Health Ministry Team repeated the tests on the 12 cases reported positive carriers of the virus Friday and found that 11 cases tested negative.
“They [all the recently-announced cases] are now on their way to be isolated in a hospital in Marsa Matrouh,” Zayed said.
In a joint statement on Friday, the health ministry and the World Health Organisation reported Egypt said it detected 12 coronavirus cases on “a Nile cruise ship on its way from Aswan to Luxor.”
The minister’s figures on Saturday bring the total number of cases announced in the country to 48.
Last week, Egypt announced the first confirmed case in the country of an Egyptian, a recent returnee from Europe. While the two previous cases were both foreign nationals; one has since recovered.
A cruise ship on Egypt’s Nile River with over 150 tourists and local crew was in quarantine Saturday in the southern city of Luxor, after 12 people tested positive for the new coronavirus, authorities said.
A Taiwanese-American tourist who had previously been on the same ship tested positive when she returned to Taiwan. The World Health Organization informed Egyptian authorities, who tested everyone on the ship.
Health authorities found a dozen of the ship’s Egyptian crew members had contracted the fast-spreading virus, but did not show symptoms, according to a joint statement from Egypt’s Health Ministry and the WHO on Friday.