A man sprays disinfectant at the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo, Egypt, March 23, 2020. Egypt confirmed on Sunday 33 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total cases in the country to 327, the Egyptian Health Ministry said in a statement. The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced on Saturday the shutting down of all museums and archeological sites and attractions nationwide from March 23 to 31 for sterilization. (Photo by Ahmed Gomaa/Xinhua)
CAIRO, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said it started on Monday to disinfect and sanitize museums and tourist sites nationwide over coronavirus concerns.
The campaign, which included so far the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Luxor Museum, the Aswan Museum, and the Tanta Museum, is part of the ministry's plan to sanitize all museums and archaeological sites to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The disinfection work was carried out in accordance with international standards, as the teams used materials approved by the Egyptian Ministry of Health, according to the statement.
The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced on Saturday the shutting down of all museums and archeological sites and attractions nationwide from March 23 to 31 for sterilization.
Sabah Seddik, general manager of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, which houses the largest collection of famous ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun, said the museum will be closed until March 31, noting that the closure period will be used to sterilize and develop the museum's facilities.
"The museum's restoration department is taking care of cleaning and disinfecting artifacts displayed outside the glass show boxes," Seddik told Xinhua.
She noted that the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has a plan to avoid or reduce financial losses due to the closure of tourist sites, stressing that the safety of visitors and workers in museums and archaeological sites is more important than financial gains.
Egypt, a country with a population of 100 million people, has confirmed 327 COVID-19 cases, including 14 deaths.
The most populous Arab country has been recently taking strict precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Egypt also temporarily shut down mosques and churches nationwide, while coffee shops, clubs, malls, restaurants and other entertainment places were told to close from early evening to early morning over coronavirus concerns.