Egypt to partially reopen sports clubs despite rising coronavirus deaths

Egypt to partially reopen sports clubs despite rising coronavirus deaths
Egypt is to partially reopen sports clubs and other facilities on 15 June, despite a rising number of coronavirus cases in the country and fears of a ‘second wave’
2 min read
11 June, 2020
Egyptian gyms and sports clubs are due to reopen soon [Getty]

Egypt has given a green light for the partial re-opening of gyms and sports clubs, after they were closed for nearly three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, and signalled a resumption of competitive sports soon.

Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhi told the ON Time Sports channel that sports clubs and youth centres would be allowed to reopen on 15 June.

He said that initially only members of staff would be permitted to return to the these facilities, while on Sunday, more information would be provided on when they can open their doors to the public.

Read more: Disaster looms for Egypt's political prisoners as coronavirus fears mount

Sobhi added that "preventative measures" would be taken to ensure the safety of staff at gyms and sports clubs, and that the partial reopening was a step towards the resumption of competitive sports.

On 20 March, Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli ordered the closure of all sports facilities in Egypt due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The plan to reopen the facilities comes at a time when coronavirus cases are on the increase in Egypt. On Wednesday, the Egyptian health ministry reported that 36 people had died of coronavirus, while there were 1,455 new cases of the disease.

The World Health Organisation also warned on Wednesday that Egypt could face a second wave of coronavirus cases in the near future.

A total of 38,244 cases have been recorded in the country, with a total of 1,342 deaths.

However, there are suspicions that the official figures may not paint a true picture of the coronavirus situation in the country, due to authorities cracking down harshly on journalists who have tried to report independently on coronavirus.

Egyptian medics have also criticised the government for not providing them with enough protection from coronavirus after 50 medics died from the disease.

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