Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly extended nationwide night curfew for two weeks (the end of Ramadan) with the curfew from 21:00 to 06:00 daily, as part of the country’s precautionary measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The announcement came during a press conference of Madbouly on Thursday together with Minister of Information Osama Heikal and Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait.
The prime minister said that the measures imposed by the government since the beginning of Ramadan will continue, the situation required stricter measures. He noted that some steps will be taken before the end of Ramadan to allow gatherings in public spaces, warning of harsh penalties for violators.
Madbouly stressed that Egypt has efficiently dealt with the coronavirus crisis and balanced between preserving health of citizens and maintaining economic activities, unlike other countries that saw complete collapse in economy due to full lockdowns.
“Citizens’ behaviours and commitment to preventive measures are the biggest challenges facing the government. The Egyptian economy must recover after the coronavirus crisis,” he said. “We presented an ambitious budget and we took into consideration improving the citizens’ level of income. The coronavirus situation in Egypt has been under control so far.”
“The 2020/21 draft budget included an item to increase wages and pensions by EGP 100bn as the state was keen that citizens should not bear additional burdens during the coronavirus crisis,” Madbouly revealed.
He warned of harsh penalties for those who do not abide by the precautionary measures, noting that up to 4,000 reports have been filed against violators of precautions to combat Covid-19.
He pointed out that the countries that adopted complete lockdowns suffered many problems, including shortage of basic commodities.
He continued: “We have taken all possible procedures so that citizens do not bear additional burdens during the crisis, and we have provided many facilities to the economic sectors to ease the Covid-19 impact.”
Moreover, Minister Heikal stressed that every citizen has a role in confronting the coronavirus and ending the current crisis.
He said the citizens can support the state’s fight against Covid-19 by following the precautions.
Heikal called on media outlets to continue its role to educate citizens about the seriousness of the current crisis, noting that they are also a partner in the confrontation process.