Egypt’s cabinet said on Tuesday it will prosecute whoever disseminates rumours or fake news over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and whoever attempts to spread panic among citizens to destabilise societal peace and harm the public interest.
The government urged citizens to report any rumours over COVID-19 or other issues, providing a hotline for such complaints.
The directive is a part of the state efforts to confront the disease, as authorities have lately noticed the spread of rumours and false information on some websites and social media, the cabinet said.
The cabinet urged citizens to not circulate any unofficial statement or information and to seek accuracy to avoid any legal procedures.
The cabinet asserted that the Ministry of Health is publishing all official information and data over the COVID-19 and regularly holds press conferences to reveal the latest updates over the scale of the spread of the disease.
Earlier on Tuesday, the ministers of health, tourism, and information held a press conference over the recent updates on the COVID-19. The Health Ministry announced that 48 passengers who tested negative for the disease left a quarantined Nile cruise ship in Luxor, adding that no new cases of COVID-19 detected in Egypt on Tuesday.
It also said that 26 out of 59 COVID-19 cases in Egypt have recovered.
The government has also taken several preventative measures against the spread of COVID-19, by cancelling all events and large public gatherings until further notice.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Youth and Sports also halted all sports events except international activities. It has also halted all events and sports gatherings of intensive density and has coordinated with the Ministry of Health to sterilise training areas.
The Egyptian Football Association’s (EFA) normalisation committee also issued a decree to hold all upcoming football matches without fans in order to ensure the public’s safety. “All matches are to be held without fans until further notice,” the EFA said in a statement on Tuesday.
Moreover, the Ministry of Transport announced that it is carrying out disinfection and sterilisation in trains and stations, as well as providing face masks in crowded lines. The ministry also spread awareness posters on COVID-19 for commuters.