Published on : Friday, March 27, 2020
Egypt has began deep cleaning the area around the Giza pyramids, as the civic authorities are working to disinfect their tourist spots which are closed down by the coronavirus outbreak. The workers wearing face masks and gloves swept and sprayed the walkways around the bases of the pyramids, as well as the ticket office and a visitor center – though the giant stone structures were not themselves cleaned.
All Egypt’s famed archaeological sites and museums from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor have been shut since Monday as authorities try to prevent coronavirus from spreading.
With passenger flights suspended — except for those repatriating the last remaining tourists — officials have been sterilizing hotels and tourist sites up and down the country.
Ashraf Mohie El-Din, director general of the pyramids area said that they started the first phase of disinfection and there are other phases. They are in the process of disinfecting all tourist sites, though the artifacts themselves require specific materials and (cleaning) must be carried out by a specialized team of excavators. They are making use of this period to sanitise the entire area, but also to carry out some maintenance work and renovation to have this area ready to accept visitors again.
Egypt has so far reported more than 400 cases of coronavirus, including 21 deaths.
Most early cases were linked to a cruise ship on the Nile River from which both foreign passengers and local crew tested positive, dealing a blow to the country’s crucial tourism sector.