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Egypt extends curfew, tightens COVID-19 measures over Eid Al-Fitr - Daily News Egypt

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Egypt extends curfew, tightens COVID-19 measures over Eid Al-Fitr

Total of 510 new cases and 18 fatalities reported on Sunday evening, bringing Egypt’s total number to 12,229 cases and 630 deaths

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced on Sunday that all public transport, restaurants, malls, public parks, and beaches will close over Eid Al-Fitr from 24 to 29 May.

The closures come as part of continued government measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Further government procedures for the Eid Al-Fitr holidays include suspending the Eid prayer in mosques and open areas, closing some main roads, and closing beaches. 

During the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, the night-time curfew will start from 5 pm, Madbouly said, adding that it will start at 8pm for two weeks following the holidays.

He also said it is anticipated that the country will gradually return to normal, with certain precautionary measures, from the second half of June. 

On Sunday evening, Egypt reported a total number of 510 new coronavirus infections and 18 new deaths, raising the country’s total to 12,229 cases and 630 deaths. A total of 3,172 cases have recovered and discharged from hospitals, according to the Ministry of Health.

“By the end of May, wearing masks will be obligatory in public places, in order to flatten the curve of infections,” Madbouly said in a press conference following a meeting of the national committee for combating the pandemic.

During the press conference, Madbouly added that final exams for the Thanaweyya Amma and technical diplomas will start on 21 June. At the same press conference, Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar said university final exams will start on 1 July with precautionary measures in effect.

Madbouly explained that the World Health Organization (WHO) has said the coronavirus will last for an unknown period of time. In light of this, countries need to coexist with the pandemic and continue normal life, whilst taking the necessary protective measures.  

He added that all measures undertaken by the government aim to curb the spread of the virus as it is anticipated that citizens will gather during the Eid Al-Fitr period.

Al Azhar’s Senior Scholars Authority said in a statement on Sunday that the Eid Al-Fitr prayer could be performed at home, due to mosques remaining closed.

Furthermore, the cabinet has directed all ministries and state bodies to prepare a plan for coexistence. The plans would be in accordance with each body’s circumstances and the necessary precautions to continue production and national projects. 

Also on Sunday, the Ministry of Health called statements attributed to Minister Hala Zayed as “fake” in which she allegedly announced a comprehensive nationwide lockdown.

Some local media outlets had published reports citing Zayed as having announced the government will start imposing the curfew from Tuesday until the third day of the Eid Al-Fitr. The Ministry of Health’s media office has, however, described the reports as fake. 

In a statement, the ministry stressed that such decisions are taken by the cabinet after evaluating the situation on the ground, and the Ministry of Health is not the responsible authority for taking the resolution. 

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