A US journalist who was diagnosed with coronavirus while on board a Nile cruise has spoken about his “friendly” experience of quarantine.
The ship was docked away from other vessels to stop a spread of the virus before the passengers were taken into isolation.
Swider kept followers up to date with his experience, tweeting pictures of the military plane transporting passengers, as well as pictures from inside the hospital, where he spoke of his road to recovery.
(25/many) Well. This is my home in Egypt for the foreseeable future, until I am cleared of #coronavirus. The hospital staff has been extremely friendly so far. I’m exhausted and will finally get sleep...until more tests. 😴 pic.twitter.com/JvOBDcRBr8— Matt Swider (@mattswider) March 8, 2020
(27) This is the last T-shirt I bought before testing for #CoronaVirus: "I ❤️ Egypt." Thank you to all of my new Egyptian friends & well-wishers, & everyone at home. I'm getting healthy food to strengthen my immune system against #COVID19. All of my vitals are good. No symptoms👍 pic.twitter.com/pYAyLK7Mwl— Matt Swider (@mattswider) March 9, 2020
(28) OK. Serious request, new friends. This is our last piece of toilet paper and I don't know the Arbabic words for "I need more toilet paper." Google Translate isn't working on 2G, but Twitter is. Please help! It is... urgent. 😬 #Egypt #CoronaVirus pic.twitter.com/465Tbshs4v— Matt Swider (@mattswider) March 9, 2020
(30) Surprise! The Egyptian #CoronaVirus medical team gave me French Fries with ketchup as one part of my dinner. I've already eaten them all before tweeting this! Getting better. Thank you, #Egypt! 🍟🤤 (very good news to come tomorrow). pic.twitter.com/7DmaRayf5A— Matt Swider (@mattswider) March 10, 2020
Egypt's sudden declaration of 45 new Covid-19 cases from the single ship, a drastic spike from its previous countrywide record of three, sparked fears the disease was far more widely spread in the Arab world's most populous country than the government had detected.
Concerns were first raised about the Asara when a Taiwanese-American woman who took the cruise in late February was confirmed with the virus after returning home.
Since then at least 21 Americans who returned to the US after taking Nile cruises in late February or early March, apparently on the Asara, have been confirmed with the virus.
Taiwan's Centre for Disease Control rejected the claim that the Taiwanese-American woman was the source of the virus on the ship, asserting she was infected by an Egyptian tour guide who was the first to show symptoms.
A 60-year-old German tourist from another Nile cruise died late Sunday, marking the country's first and only fatality so far.
In response, the Egyptian government put a temporary ban on large public gatherings but has taken few other precautionary measures, unlike elsewhere in the Middle East, where schools have been shut.