Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has announced a partial curfew from 19:00 to 6:00 starting Wednesday for two weeks, in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
During curfew hours, all public and private transportation will be halted, Madbouly stated.
Also, all state services will be suspended except for the issuance of births and deaths certificates, commercial shops will be closed from 17:00 to 6:00 daily and full closure on Friday and Saturday, excluding pharmacies, bakeries and grocery shops.
The prime minister stressed that “violators of the curfew will be subject to emergency law penalties, which vary from EGP 4,000 fine to jail terms.”
Madbouly explained that the “firmer and stronger” measures are meant to minimise the risk of virus transmission. He said that even “stricter” measures may be taken in the future, urging Egyptians to comply with instructions, warning that the country could reach a “dangerous” milestone of 1,000 infections.
The government measures indicate that all coffee shops and entertainment venues will be suspended and restaurants can only run delivery services. Schools and universities will be suspended for an additional two weeks as they were closed since 15 March, while sporting clubs and gym will also continue to be shut.
A decision limiting the number of government employees going to work will also be prolonged until mid-April.
Madbouly announced the allocation of EGP 1 billion to the health ministry to help it provide preventative supplies.
“While in any service venue, I urge citizens to leave distance and not crowd,” the prime minister said, adding, speaking to youths, “Young men and women have to understand that they may cause harm to the elderly in their families if they don’t exercise caution.”
Earlier, Egypt has adopted many measures to stop the spread of the novel COVID-19 including closing mosques and churches, suspending international flights, in addition to closing malls and sporting clubs from 7 pm.
On Tuesday Egypt reported 36 new coronavirus cases and 1 new death case for a 54-year old Egyptian woman from Alexandria. The country’s total number of infected cases recorded 402 while the death toll stood at 20.