Saudi Arabia Says Hajj and Umrah Bookings 30% Less; Egypt Records 71st Swine Flu Case

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Health Ministry announced two new H1N1cases, known as swine flu, bringing the total number of human infections in Egypt to 71 cases so far.

Health Ministry spokesman, Dr. Abdel Rahman Shahin, said 51 cases have been cured, while 20 more are still receiving treatment, but are in good condition.

In press statements yesterday, Shahin said that case no. 70 is a 39-year-old Somali who had arrived at Cairo Airport with his son on June 30. The Cairo Airport Quarantine sent him to a hospital in Cairo for Tamiflu treatment, and his condition is stable.

He said: “Case no. 71 is an 8-year-old Egyptian from Sharkia. He is a relative of a previous positive case. He is isolated in a hospital in Cairo for treatment, and his condition is stable.”

Meanwhile, the Cairo International Airport Quarantine authorities have yesterday examined 16,000 passengers who have arrived on board 114 flights from around the world.

In the same regard, the Hajj and Umrah Committee of the Saudi Chamber in Jeddah said the Hajj Ministry has last week reduced the operational plans for the Umrah season in the months of Rajab and Sha'ban by 10%, so as to limit the spread of swine flu during the Umrah season.

In a regular meeting that turned into an emergency meeting, the committee said that hotel bookings in the last ten days of Ramadan and in the pilgrimage season have dropped by nearly 30% compared to the same period last year.

It said that the current bookings are estimated at 60%, half of which is unconfirmed. Also, the possibility of canceling hotel bookings is very high, particularly as the actual cancellations, until the day before yesterday, have been estimated at about 20%.

Globally, the most recent count by the World Health Organization said the virus hit 77,201 people in 120 countries and regions, resulting in 332 deaths. Also, the number of registered patients has increased by 6,308 patients since the last toll that was posted on the organization’s website last Monday.


Abaza: “We Will Not Offer New Land in Upper Egypt before the Reclamation of the One Million Acres of the National Projects is Complete”

Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Amin Abaza said the total area of agricultural development projects in Upper Egypt is about one million acres, adding that it is currently difficult to offer any new agricultural reclamation projects in Egypt’s south within the government’s reform plan if several projects have not yet been completed.

He said that the project for 230,000 acres west of Kom Ombo will not start before the completion of the overall investment scheme studies of the region, pointing out that this was agreed between all competent parties, especially the ministries of agriculture, water resources and investment.

Abaza said that only 50,000 acres will be offered in the coming stage, for which adequate irrigation water would be provided. He stressed the government's complete commitment to the instructions of President Mubarak to give the people of Aswan and Nubia land to cultivate, especially since the projects in Wadi Al-Naqra, Qena, West Morsheda, Toshka and East Owaynat need their investments, skills and expertise in reclamation and cultivation.

The Minister of Agriculture said no part of the project west of Kom Ombo will be given to investors, especially as scientific studies proved that the areas suitable for cultivation within the project are limited, and the cost of pumping water to the land level of the project is high.


Pantun Berjanji

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tanam melati di ruma-ruma
Ubur-ubur sampingan dua
Kalau mati kita kita bersama
Satu kubur kita berdua

Tanam padi satu-persatu
Anak lintah dalam dunia
Daging hancur menjadi satu
Tandanya cinta dalam dunia

Jika roboh kota Melaka
Papan di Jawa saya tegakkan
Jika sungguh Kanda berkata
Badan dan nyawa saya serahkan

Ikan dilaut asam di darat
Dalam kuali bertemu jua
Hati terpaut janji diikat
atas pelamin bertemu jua

Amat garang datuk Bentara
Musuh melanggar habis dibenam
Dulu seorang kini berdua
Hidup bersama susah dan senang

Ambil puan dari Marinda
Pandan di Jawa saya rebahkan
Jika tuan membawa adinda
Badan dan nyawa saya serahkan

Ambil puan di atas batu
Hendak berlayar ke benua Jawa
Jika tuan berkata begitu
Esok hari Kakanda bawa


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