No Omicron cases detected among Egyptian expats in South Africa: Ambassador

Ahram Online , Sunday 28 Nov 2021

Egypt said that no Omicron cases have been detected among the Egyptian community in South Africa, where the new coronavirus variant first surfaced.

Ahmed Fadali
Ahmed Fadali. Al-Ahram

The announcement was made by the Egypt’s Ambassador to South Africa Ahmed Fadali in a comment to the Sada El-Balad Satellite Channel Saturday night.

Ambassador Fadali said there no Egyptians stuck in South Africa due to the newly introduced restrictions, noting that the embassy formed a crisis management team to follow up on the new variant.

Egypt has tightened pandemic related safety measures at its ports due to mounting concerns over the Omicron variant, which the World Health Organization labeled a “variant of concern.”

The Egyptian government has suspended all direct flights with South Africa since Saturday, and imposed travel restrictions on passengers flying indirectly to Egypt – whether in transit or as a final destination – from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Eswatini, Mozambique and Lesotho.

Passengers coming from the aforementioned countries to Cairo as a final destination through transit flights or stopping at Cairo International Airport as a transit point before reaching their final destination will take a rapid test.

The embassy said in a statement that those planning to travel indirectly to Egypt as a transit point or as a final destination will be asked to sign a consent form at the embassy to undergo an obligatory COVID-19 rapid test upon arrival in Cairo.

The statement added that if the test result comes back positive, the passenger will be obliged to board the outbound return flight of the same plane upon which they arrived.

If the passenger tests negative, a mandatory self-quarantine of seven days followed by a PCR test shall be imposed, noted the statement.

Fadali said South Africa had announced the detection of Omicron in the interest of transparency, affirming that the number of detected cases have so far reached 22 infections.

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