Officials in major holiday spots have issued orders for special security measures over the Easter weekend and the Sham al-Nessim holiday, boosting police traffic patrols and putting hospitals on high alert.
The measures are aimed at dealing with increased traffic flows as Egyptians flock to resorts and tourist attractions, with extra casualties expected from road accidents and food poisoning from poorly prepared food. Some officials have also put security forces on high alert in case of public disturbances and security threats.
Essam al-Hamly, the head of Luxor Security Directorate, has announced the state of emergency and intensified security measures in public squares and gardens over the Easter break.
Meanwhile, in Suez governorate, security forces have intensified their presence at the Martyr Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel and all major traffic routes through the Suez Canal area. Traffic police have boosted patrols along major highways, especially along those linked to tourists resorts, such as the Ain Sokhna, Ras Sedr and Oyoun Moussa roads.
Major General Magdi Abdel Aal, chief of the Suez Security Directorate, said traffic police patrols had been increased on these three roads due to the increased numbers of holiday-makers heading to and from resorts.
Ahmed al-Hayatmy, the governor of Suez stressed the importance of boosting security in public squares and at the entrances to the governorate, as well as the Ain Sokhna-Red highway and near tourist resorts. Hayatmy told Brigadier General Mohamed Dafrawy, director of the Traffic Department, to make all the necessary preparations.
Hayatmy also put public hospitals on high alert in case of mass casualties, telling Lotfy Abdel Samei, chief of the Health Directorate, to make the necessary arrangements.
Measures have also been taken to prevent cases of mass poisoning over the weekend, following reports each year of holiday-makers eating food that is not fit for consumption, including rotting fish.
In the Suez governorate, Abdel Aal instructed the Supply Department to work with the Health Directorate and veterinary officials to intensify inspection campaigns at food shops and markets to seize rotten salted fish. He also instructed ambulances be deployed in busy public places and beaches.
Salted fish is a traditional food during the Sham al-Naseem holiday, but badly prepared fish can cause serious poisoning. Officials have been seeking to reduce the number of poisoning cases, warning against eating rotten fish that is not properly preserved.
As well tackling security and health issues, some officials have been seeking to improve the appearance of holiday spots. Hayatmy, for example, gave instructions for beaches, squares and the Suez corniche to be kept clean around the clock during the Easter and spring vacation.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm