CAIRO – The Giza Pyramids Complex was sterilized on Wednesday as part of Egypt’s disinfection efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
A group of six people equipped with masks, hazmat protection suits and industrial cleaning equipment sterilized the surroundings of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure pyramids.
“We take advantage of this suspension to prepare the archaeological zone in terms of maintenance and restoration so that when tourism recovers, the area of the pyramids is in its maximum splendor to receive its visitors,” director-general of the Giza Plateau Ashraf Mohi al-Din said.
The process included the entrance to the pyramids, ticket offices, the walk-throughs and the roads around the three monuments and the Sphinx.
The complex has not received practically any visitors over the past few days as the authorities decided to suspend flights.
“The monument has a specific form of sterilization with specific material that will be carried out by a team of specialized restorers,” according to Mohi al-Din.
“The current sterilization is outside, of tourist routes, roads, buildings, and administrative facilities only.”
A similar process has been carried out at the Karnak and Abu Simbel temples as well as hotels by a decision announced by the Egyptian government on March 18.
Last week, the tourism sector employees in Luxor, where Valley of the Kings is located, were put under quarantine until the end of the month to ensure they had not contracted the virus.
The quarantine also included the tourism workers in the provinces of Aswan, to the south of Luxor, and South Sinai, known for its beaches on the Red Sea.
All the people on board Nile cruises, including employees and tourists, underwent checks last week, with those who tested positive for coronavirus being moved to isolation hospitals, according to the government.
Tourism, a vital sector that has been recovering over the past couple of years, has been considered one of the possible transmission sources of the virus by the Egyptian authorities.
Egypt has reported 366 coronavirus cases and 19 deaths.
The African country decided to extend a flight suspension, first announced on March 19, until April 15 as it has been toughening measures and placing bans on activities in public spaces to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
On March 9, Egyptian authorities subjected 558 people to random controls, half of them tourists and the other half Egyptian employees, in hotels and cruises in Luxor and Aswan, with no cases detected, according to the Government.
The first coronavirus cases in Egypt were detected on the cruises sailing between Luxor and Aswan.