Coronavirus- CC via Pixabay/TheDigitalArtist
CAIRO - 24 March 2020: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi tweeted twice on Tuesday on strict protective measures taken against the coronavirus pandemic for 15 days starting Wednesday. A tweet came before the press conference held by Prime Minister Mostafa madbouly to make the announcement while the other came later.
In the first tweet, the president urged the government to take more measures for fighting coronavirus.
“In light of current following up efforts for fighting the coronavirus, I urged the government and executive departments to take all necessary measures for achieving the highest rates of safety of the Egyptians in a way that would not affect the public daily needs," the president stated.
The president also expressed confidence that the Egyptian people will respond to these measures positively to maintain their safety and the safety of the homeland.
In the second tweet, the president urged Egyptians to abide by the rules announced by the government saying they are aimed at “at limiting the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and reducing the infection rates. Therefore, I call upon all Egyptians to fully comply with these regulations. I also affirm that all of the country’s organizations and entities will confront any attempts to violate the newly announced rules.”
Sisi added, “I bet on the awareness of the great Egyptian people and their ability to overcome crises and challenges at various difficult times.”
Before declaring the following measures that will take effect on Wednesday for 15 days, the prime minister had instructed securing LE1 billion to the Ministry of Health and Population to face the pandemic.
First, a curfew takes place between 7:00 p.m until 6:00 a.m.
Second, no public or private transportation will operate during the curfew. Vehicles transporting food are exempted from this rule.
Third, stores, shopping malls, and workshops offering goods and services will close from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. on weekdays, and 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays. Exceptions are supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies and bakeries.
Fourth, cafes, casinos, night clubs, cinemas, theaters, and all entertainment venues will shut down.
Fifth, all restaurants and food outlets will close. Yet, they are only allowed to offer a delivery service off the curfew hours.
Sixth, all civil services are suspended. Those include the registry office, the civil registration office, traffic licenses, work permits and passports issuance.
Seventh, youth centers, sport and social clubs, and gymnastics centers will be closed.
Eight, class suspension in schools, universities, and colleges will be extended for two weeks starting March 29. Nurseries will be closed, and any student gatherings aimed at education will be cancelled.
Ninth, hospitals and medical centers will continue to provide treatment. Salaries and pensions will be made available at post offices at regular working hours.
Tenth, violations of such rules incur a prison sentence and a fine up to LE4,000 or either penalties.
The rules come upon the orders of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to upgrade the protective measures taken in the face of the coronavirus pandemic to ensure the safety of citizens.
“We have to take further protective measures against coronavirus pandemic...We aspire to not have to resort to the 3rd scenario by recording 1,000 infection cases or at least slow down the pace towards such scenario...All measures are ready but we’re cautious with the timing to not harm the living conditions of certain social segments or the economy,” the prime minister stated at the beginning of the conference.
After declaring the measures, the prime minister stressed, “I urge citizens to decrease their movement between governorates. Public Enterprise companies are also ordered to reduce the movement of employees between governorates.”
“While in any service venue, I urge citizens to leave a distance and to not crowd,” the prime minister added then addressed youth saying, “Youth have to understand that they may cause harm to the elderly in their family, if they don’t exercise caution.”
“I thank all medical workers for what they’re doing in this war, and advise citizens to be understanding in how they treat them,” Madbouly concluded.
On Monday, infection cases soared by 39 and five passed away. As such, the total numbers of infection cases and deaths have become 366 and 19, respectively. On the other hand, 96 patients tested negative, including 68 who left the quarantine hospital.