Egypt’s military spox denies army deployed to impose curfew



Wed, 18 Mar 2020 - 06:03 GMT


Wed, 18 Mar 2020 - 06:03 GMT

FILE - Egyptian army personnel stand guard in northern Sinai - Reuters

FILE - Egyptian army personnel stand guard in northern Sinai - Reuters

CAIRO – 18 March 2020: Egypt's Military Spokesman Tamer El-Refaie on Wednesday denied news that the armed forces were deployed to the Egyptian governorates to impose an alleged curfew, as a procedure to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Egypt’s Health Ministry on Tuesday confirmed 30 new cases and two deaths. This brings the total number of the cases infected with coronavirus, known as Covid-19, in the North African country, to 196 and raises the official death toll to six.

Refaie urged media platforms to verify the source of the information they receive, affirming that the military spokesperson is the sole source of information concerning decision taken by the armed forces.

He warned against the spread of rumors and “malicious claims.”

The armed forces continue to cooperate with state institutions to face the danger of the novel coronavirus and take all procedures that ensure the safety of the Egyptian people, the spokesperson added.

Minister of State for Information Osama Heikal earlier denied news that the government has isolated the South Sinai’s city of Sharm El Sheikh, one of Egypt’s major tourist attractions.

In a meeting between Health Minister Hala Zayed and Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli, Zayed said some precautionary measures were taken in the tourist governorates of Luxor, Aswan and South Sinai, including banning workers in all tourist facilities from leaving these governorates for 14 days and putting them in quarantine.

The procedures in the three governorates will also include cleaning and sterilizing all tourist facilities as well as governmental and non-governmental facilities, Zayed said, adding that they will be unable to receive any tourists for 14 days starting from the date when the last tourist leaves.

The tourist ships also underwent precautionary measures, Zayed said, including testing all on board for the new virus, including visitors as well as the staff. Those who tested positive were quarantined. Concerning Nile cruisers, all those on board were put in quarantine for 14 days.

Earlier in March, the Health Ministry and the World Health Organization announced confirming 12 positive cases of the new virus on board the Nile cruise ship in Upper Egypt. The number then increased to 33 and other related cases were also confirmed.

The Egyptian state institutions and ministries are acting within the framework of a comprehensive strategy to fight the spread of the coronavirus nationwide, Presidential spokesman Bassam Radi told FM 95 on Monday.

This comes a day after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered allocating LE 100 billion ($6.4 billion), to fund an anti-coronavirus strategy and related precautionary measures.



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