Pedestrians wearing face masks cross a road during a Lunar New Year of the Rat public holiday in Hong Kong on January 27, 2020, as a preventative measure following a coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of WuhanCAIRO, Feb 19 (MENA) - There are a total of 73,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the world, including those in China, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari said Wednesday.In a press conference held on the recent updates about COVID-19 outbreak, Al-Mandhari said that the first COVID-19 cases in the Eastern Mediterranean Region were reported three weeks ago.There are currently a total of ten COVID-19 cases reported in two countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, he said.He added that 99% of COVID-19 cases are reported in China.
February 19, 2020 13:18 UTC
Egypt’s cabinet media center denied the validity of audio messages on social media claiming that coronavirus would spread among school students. According to a Wednesday statement, the center contacted the ministries of health and education which denied that coronavirus or other cases of epidemic viruses were present in schools anywhere in Egypt. The ministries stressed that precautionary measures are being taken against infectious diseases, the statement said. Further measures include applying proper health requirements in school food, medical examinations for new students, referring any students suspected of communicable diseases to hospitals and educating students on health and hygiene habits. The statement warned citizens to avoid fearmongering rumors on social media.
February 19, 2020 13:18 UTC
Several companies based in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that they will invest in the construction of the new Magdi Yacoub Heart Center, which is located in 6th of October City, about 20 miles outside of Cairo. The eagerly awaited new heart center aims to perform 12,000 annual surgeries, including around 3,000 open heart surgeries. Additionally, the center has vowed to conduct 9,000 annual cardiac catheterization procedures, double the number of those performed in the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation in Upper Egypt’s Aswan, which opened in 2008. Officials have said that heart surgeries performed on children will constitute 60 percent of the operations at the hospital. It was previously announced that the new center would be able to a house five times more patients than the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation in Aswan, with thousands to be offered medical services annually.
February 19, 2020 12:56 UTC
KHARTOUM (Reuters) — As bakers in flour-stained clothes knead dough and slide trays of loaves into ovens in Sudan’s capital, a cluster of yellow-vested volunteers keep watch. The goal of the self-styled guardians of the uprising that toppled ruler Omar al-Bashir is to stem the smuggling of heavily subsidized flour and bread destined for citizens struggling through a long-running economic crisis. Bread was a symbol of the revolution – an attempt to raise bread prices was a trigger for the first major protests, in the city of Atbara. But flour and fuel are still being siphoned off onto the black market, contributing to shortages that have dampened spirits six months into a 39-month transition and left a weak civilian government struggling to respond. “We are monitoring what enters and leaves the bakery — the flour before it is made into bread, the bread that comes out, who it goes to, at what time and why,” said 20-year-old student Mohaned Babeker, standing watch at the bakery in the Khartoum neighborhood of Arkawit.
February 19, 2020 12:56 UTC
Meteorologists expect moderate weather on Thursday during the daylight for Greater Cairo, Lower Egypt, with warmer weather on Upper Egypt, South Sinai, and Red Sea mountains. The weather will grow very cold across the country by nightfall. Low- and medium-level clouds are anticipated across most of the country, accompanied by rainfall on different northeastern coasts and central Sinai. Winds will be mostly northwestern and active on northwestern coasts, disrupting maritime navigation on the Mediterranean Sea. Waves in the Mediterranean Sea will be moderate to rough, ranging between 1.8 and 2.3 meters in height, while waves in the Red Sea will be moderate and ranging between 1.2 and 1.5 meters in height.
February 19, 2020 12:45 UTC
A PCR analysis conducted on a Chinese national in Egypt suspected of carrying the COVID-19 coronavirus has come out negative, the Egyptian Health Ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Wednesday. The results came 48 hours following the foreigner’s admission to a specially designated hospital for isolation, after being announced as Egypt’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus on February 14. The Health Ministry’s spokesperson Khaled Megahed explained that a medical team has been conducting periodic checks and analysis on the Chinese national. The PCR analysis was conducted six times over three consecutive days, under the supervision of the Health Ministry and the WHO – the results proving negative each time. Urgency against the coronavirus has been raised to the highest level in all ports and airports throughout the country, he added.
February 19, 2020 12:11 UTC
The widening multi-front offensive has sent hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing towards the border with Turkey in one of the biggest single displacements of the nine-year war. The images from Colorado-based Maxar Technologies show an enormous number of refugee tents and shelters for internally displaced people near Kafaldin and Deir Hassan in Idlib province. The Syrian Air flight landed at Aleppo airport after a 40-minute flight from Damascus on Wednesday and was welcomed by a military band on the tarmac. Image: In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian officials and journalists disembark a Syrian commercial plane after it landed at Aleppo Airport, Syria, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. The Syrian commercial flight on Wednesday from Damascus, marked the resumption of internal flights between Syria’s two largest cities for the first time since 2012.
February 19, 2020 12:11 UTC
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday closed a three-nation Africa tour with a thinly-veiled swipe at China as he talked up Washington’s ability to stimulate growth and entrepreneurship on the continent. They breed corruption, dependency,” Pompeo said in a speech to diplomats and business leaders at the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. On Wednesday Pompeo name-checked US companies operating in all three countries on his Africa tour, the first by a US cabinet-level official in 19 months: Bechtel in Senegal, Chevron in Angola and Coca-Cola in Ethiopia. -Mixed messages-Pompeo’s attempt to lay out a positive vision for US cooperation with Africa has been undermined by President Donald Trump’s Africa policy so far, analysts say. “The fact that Chinese loans and sometimes grants have less bureaucracy also makes it quite convenient for Ethiopia and Africa at large,” Abel said.
February 19, 2020 12:00 UTC
Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania al-Mashat said women are the main breadwinners of 14 percent of Egyptian families, during a speech as part of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) ministerial session, which took place in Dubai as part of the Global Women’s Forum on Tuesday, February 19. Egypt’s 2030 vision hopes to increase the participation of women in the workforce until it reaches 40 percent by 2030. Aliko also said that the UN is currently moving in three major directions regarding Egyptian women’s empowerment. The first focuses on creating sustainable female leaders, while the second focuses on introducing women to the economic world through intensive training in banking, finance, and marketing. Statistics released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in 2019 show that labor force participation for Egyptian women aged 15 to 65 stands at only 22.9 percent.
February 19, 2020 10:52 UTC
BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s financial situation points to a likely restructuring of the country’s massive debt and financial sector to preserve declining foreign currency reserves, Fitch Ratings said Tuesday. Many have argued the priority should be to use shrinking foreign currency to pay for imports of basic needs such as wheat, medicine and fuel. Lebanese banks have imposed capital controls to manage depleting foreign currency. Lebanon has one of the highest debt to GDP ratios in the world, standing at about $87 billion or more than 150% of the country’s GDP. The economic and financial crisis has worsened since mid-October, when nationwide protests began against the ruling elite that is blamed for years of corruption and mismanagement.
February 19, 2020 10:30 UTC
Residents from Daqahlia governorate’s Mubarak Village on Tuesday announced their rejection to visitation from members of the House of Representatives, accusing them of neglecting their needs. Banners were pasted on buildings expressing their frustration, with several villagers stating that that the House of Representatives members were not welcome in Mubarak village. “We do not have a youth center even after we provided a plot of land and extracted a license,” he lamented. “Unfortunately, we use a rented house without water and electricity as the youth center’s headquarters.”Another resident, Nader Gomaa, said that “We see members from the House of Representatives only before the elections. House of Representatives member Ali Makram Radwan stated that services have been provided since 2003 such as transforming Shamas from a manor to a village, providing a sewage station and technical and industrial secondary schools.
February 19, 2020 10:07 UTC
Minister of International Cooperation Ranya al-Mashat during the "Empowering Women Entrepreneurs" session that was held in Dubai as part of the World Woman Forum 2020 - photo from the minister's official Twitter accountCAIRO - 19 February 2020: Minister of International Cooperation Ranya al-Mashat said on Tuesday that women represent about 21 percent of the workforce and contribute about 18 percent to the gross domestic product of the Middle East and North Africa.Mashat's remarks came during her speech at the "Empowering Women Entrepreneurs" session that was held in Dubai as part of the World Woman Forum 2020, organized by Dubai Women’s Foundation and attended by representatives of 87 countries.“In Egypt, we have around 48 million women, of which 23 million are actually supporting families. Through public private partnerships (PPP), we are reducing the financing gap, fostering more inclusion and engaging in constructive dialogues on the advancement of women,” She said.“We also have to elevate the narrative, with women success stories becoming an ever needed prominent feature of the public conversation, as they provide open doors for others and push participation. Today, 25 percentof Egypt’s Cabinet members and 19 percentof Parliament members are women. The government exerts increasing efforts to politically, economically and socially empower women, to deliver Egypt’s 2030 vision,” Mashat added.During the minister’s speech, she stressed on the importance of achieving financial inclusion, working to increase MSMEs and establishing strong partnerships between the government and the private sector in the Middle East and North Africa region.She also added that the Central Bank of Egypt launched a number of initiatives to promote women’s financial inclusion by signing MoUs with the National Council for Women to determine initiatives that are matched with the objectives of the National Strategy for Empowering Egyptian woman 2030.Mashat stressed that the economic, social and political empowerment ofwomen in Egypt became a national priority for the Egyptian government.The forum discussed policies and initiatives that possess a positive impact on women and ways to increase women's social and economic participation, especially in the entrepreneurial sector.Ivanka Trump, adviser to the US president; and a number of heads of international financial institutions headed by David Malpas, president of the World Bank Group; and Crystalina Georgieva, director-general of the International Monetary Fund, delivered a speech during 60 discussion sessions of the forum.Mashat also presented the efforts of Egypt in empowering women politically, economically and socially in various fields, as Egypt is one of the first countries to prepare a strategy for empowering women, which was launched by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in 2017 to make women a basic partner in a strategy for sustainable development by 2030.The minister participated in the launch of the Women Entrepreneur Financing Initiative (We-Fi), which is held for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa, with the aim of empowering women entrepreneurs in the region. This initiative includes a partnership of 14 governments with six development banks.The forum focuses on four main axes such as the government, economy, society and the future with the participation of more than 3000 personalities, which makes it the largest forum of its kind.
February 19, 2020 09:56 UTC
The Syrian army’s offensive, backed by Russian air power, has triggered the biggest wave of displaced civilians in the nine-year conflict. Education resources were also needed for 280 million displaced school-aged children. “The violence in northwest Syria is indiscriminate. The head of the World Health Organization said Tuesday that out of nearly 550 such facilities in northwest Syria, only about half were operational. Reporting by AFPImage: The Syrian army’s offensive, backed by Russian air power, has triggered the biggest wave of displaced civilians in the nine-year conflict ( AFP / Delil SOULEIMAN)
February 19, 2020 09:45 UTC
The 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety kicked off in Stockholm, Sweden Wednesday - Photo by Nourhan MagdyStockholm – 19 February 2020: The 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety kicked off in Stockholm, Sweden Wednesday, where around 1,700 delegates from around 140 countries around the world are attending to share successes and lessons from implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.His Majesty the King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf inaugurated the conference and made introductory remarks on roads safety.“It is very important to come together to share experience and knowledge from all over the world, it is an honor to host this global conference on road safety, and delighted to see many decision makers gathered here in Stockholm, showing commitment to road safety,” King Gustaf said.His majesty said that road safety is as important as other global issues like poverty, human rights climate change that need to be tackled together.For his part, the Swedish Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth urged decision makers to act to allow children live a safe life, and reduce deaths figures on the roads.He highlighted the conference as a good opportunity to repeat our commitment to improve road safety, adding that in order for that goal to be achieved, “we need stronger allies, partners and internal community…multilaterally is important.”UN Special Envoy for Road Safety Jean Todt said that road deaths figures are shocking, saying although many intergovernmental organizations and governments are mobilized towards reducing the figure, but it is still not enough.We should not expect different results by doing the same thing when approaching the issue, Todt added.World Health Organization’s Director-General is Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gave examples of countries that have achieved progress in road safety like Norway, which recorded only one road death in Oslo last year.“With the right leadership, road safety can be reconfigured, it is only when countries can move towards vision,” he said. Director-General Adhanom added that WHO is committed to work with countries, to improve laws, monitor global progress, and post-crash emergency care.“It is one thing to set goals, it is another to achieve them. There is no excuse for inaction,” he continued.He concluded his statements saying that countries need to rapidly accelerate actions on road, plan for sustainable mobility, measures to increase walking cycling and public transport and engage civil societies and private sector in achieving the goalThe World Health Organization predicts that traffic accidents will be the fifth most common cause of death globally by 2030.The conference marks the end of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. But more importantly, it marks the starting point for road safety strategies ahead.The event is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization, and minister-led delegations, and representatives from the world of industry and research, international institutions and organizations will also participate.More than half of the African population will be living in cities by the year 2040, this create vast opportunities for us in Africa, and we need to meet manage these opportunities wisely so that our people are the winnersOur countries are racing time, facing the pressure and needs of growing populations, transport programs are implemented to allow sustainable systems in our continent.However, Africa records the highest global rates, and actions are still needed, she added.
February 19, 2020 09:45 UTC
Various government Ministries in Egypt will launch online services for the first time within the next two months across Egypt’s Governorates, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat announced. The services include those provided by the Interior Ministry, Justice Ministry, Supply Ministry, and the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones. Services planned to be digitalized include Supply Ministry services, documentation services provided by the Justice Ministry, Housing Ministry services, traffic services by the Interior Ministry, services by the Agriculture Ministry and others, said the minister. He pointed out that the fourth phase of the project will be launched in the next few weeks, which will include chambers of commerce services, urban community services, Electricity Ministry services, Education Ministry services, and real estate registration services. In December 2019, Egypt’s Interior Ministry announced that it had launched online services through a new website for the Passports, Immigration and Nationality Administration.
February 19, 2020 09:22 UTC