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Forty-five people from an Egyptian Nile river cruise have tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials believe the cases originated from a Taiwanese-U.S national, who displayed symptoms of the virus after returning to Taiwan.

He was on the M/S A Sara, an Egyptian cruise line from late January to the beginning of February.

The cruise line which operates between Aswan and Luxor, first reported 12 crew members, and over the weekend, confirmed that they have contracted COVID-19.

The ship continued to operate throughout February. It docked in Luxor on Thursday at the end of a two-day cruise, when the crew members tested positive, at the end of a 14-day incubation period, Egyptian officials said.

Egypt’s ministry of health said that 171 people were on board the ship, including 101 foreign nationals.

The ship has been towed outside Luxor and placed under quarantine, state media reported. Those who tested positive were flown by military plane for quarantine in northern Egypt.

Before this spike in infected passengers and crew, Egypt had reported only three confirmed cases of the virus.

Egyptian officials are trying to contain possible panic about the surge in confirmed cases. “Egypt is safe and the situation is under control,” declared prime minister Mostafa Madbouly.