Egypt starts deep-cleaning pyramids as coronavirus keeps tourists away

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Egyptian workers on Wednesday began disinfecting the area around the famed Giza Pyramids and other popular tourist spots left empty amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Wearing face masks and gloves, the workers sprayed the base of the ancient pyramids and walkways, but the pyramids themselves were left alone, Reuters reported.

Municipal workers sanitize the walkways around the Giza pyramid complex on Wednesday in hopes of curbing the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak in Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

Municipal workers sanitize the walkways around the Giza pyramid complex on Wednesday in hopes of curbing the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak in Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

“We started the first phase of disinfection, and there are other phases," said Ashraf Mohie El-Din, director-general of the pyramids area. "We are in the process of disinfecting all tourist sites, though the artifacts themselves require specific materials and (cleaning) must be carried out by a specialized team of excavators."

“We are making use of this period to sanitize the entire area, but also to carry out some maintenance work and renovation to have this area ready to accept visitors again,” he added.

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Many of the country's archaeological sites and museums have been closed since Monday as authorities try to slow the spread of the global pandemic, according to Reuters. Egypt has more than 450 coronavirus cases and 21 deaths.