As a potential second Coronavirus wave approaches Egypt, the government is setting out to take measures to combat the spread of the pandemic. Although their efforts seem fitting considering the current official numbers of cases in Egypt, it raises the question of whether the decisions would be taken when it’s too late.
To Lockdown or To No Lockdown?
Earlier last month, the government announced that it will not be enforcing a full or partial lockdown if the infections surge again. The health minister, Hala Zayed, mentioned that there were lessons learned from the first wave; one of which was to avoid resorting to lockdowns as a strategy to fight the spread of the virus. However, in Europe, in spite of avoiding lockdown measures, the government had to resort to a full lockdown in the face of the surging numbers of cases. If there is anything to learn, it is to take immediate action once the infection rates increase.
Precautionary Measures in Restaurants and Cafes
On November 3rd, the government announced new opening and closing hours for restaurants and cafes. All restaurants must close by 12 AM in winters and extend to 1 AM in the summer, causing no (or very minor) changes to the current situation. The good news, however, is that there will be frequent inspections to ensure all precautions are applied.
The Minister of Education, Tarek Shawky, made it very clear that there is no intent to shut down schools and universities any time soon. He assured that all educational facilities are instructed to strictly apply precautionary measures to avoid the spread of the disease. Shawky also clarified that school cancellations are out of question and that no problems have been detected so far. If a case arises in a class, the classroom will be closed for 28 days.
The decisions left most citizens wondering: how firm are these firm decisions? Are there any alternatives? Some are positive that the government is well-prepared for different scenarios that could arise any minute once the second coronavirus wave hits. For now, it is impossible to predict what could happen next, but what we know for sure if that we must use the lessons we’ve learned from the countries around us to avoid making the same mistakes.