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Reported coronavirus cases in Egypt jump by nearly 500

Members of the medical staff at the infectious diseases unit of the Imbaba hospital in the capital Cairo, gather for a break on 19 April,2020 [AHMED HASAN/AFP via Getty Images]
Members of the medical staff at the infectious diseases unit of the Imbaba hospital in the capital Cairo on 19 April, 2020 [AHMED HASAN/AFP via Getty Images]

Egypt reported 495 cases of the new coronavirus on Friday, its highest daily increase to date, as the number of deaths from COVID-19 confirmed by the health ministry rose above 500.

The total number of coronavirus cases confirmed by the ministry stands at 8,476, while the 21 new deaths announced on Friday bring total reported deaths to 503.

Egypt relaxed some restrictions designed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan late last month, slightly shortening a night-time curfew.

READ: Egypt's Sisi extends state of emergency due to coronavirus

Officials have signalled that the country could gradually start returning to normal in June, but have also said authorities are ready to reimpose curbs if infections increase.

On Thursday Awad Tag el-Din, a health advisor to Egypt's president told reporters that 100,000 PCR tests for the new coronavirus had been carried out in Egypt and that a total of one million tests had been conducted including rapid tests and CT scans.

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