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Egypt suspends direct flights with southern African countries over new COVID-19 variant

Coronavirus screening

Cairo, Egypt | Xinhua | The Egyptian government suspended direct flights with a number of southern African countries due to concerns over the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.

The decision was made late on Friday after a meeting of the ministerial crisis management committee headed by Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, according to a cabinet statement.

The direct flight suspension includes South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini, the cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said in the statement.

As for transit flights coming from these countries and stopping at Cairo International Airport on their way to other destinations, their passengers will go through a quick test and those tested positive will be returned home on the same flight.

On Saturday, the Egyptian Health Ministry urged citizens to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures, such as wearing face masks, observing social distancing and taking COVID-19 vaccine, especially after the appearance of the new variant.

Egypt has launched a mass vaccination campaign as one of the basic precautionary measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Until Friday night, Egypt has reported a total number of 354,836 COVID-19 infections, including 20,237 deaths and 294,903 recoveries.

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Xinhua

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