FILE - President Abdel Fattah El Sisi gives a speech at the graduation ceremony of first batch of medicine factulty of the Armed Forces- Press photo
CAIRO – 7 April 2020: The Egyptian Armed Forces held on Tuesday a conference that was attended by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, and several ministers to highlight its contributions in the protective efforts against COVID-19, and the exceptional measures to alleviate the impact of the crisis.
President Sisi checked upon the Egyptian Armed Forces elements and equipment assisting the civilian sector in combating COVID-19.
Commander of the Supply Authority at the Egyptian Armed Forces Walid Hussein stated that 2,000 biological devices were used to sterilize buildings, and that almost 9 tons of detergents are used daily in sterilization works by the Egyptian Armed Forces.
The commander added that the Egyptian Armed Forces allocated 22 hospitals for quarantine, and upgraded a total of 45 hospitals to receive civilian patients. The number of ventilation devices in Egyptian Armed Forces hospitals allocated to COVID-19 patients is 1,100.
Production lines at the Egyptian Armed Forces factories were upgraded to produce 100,000 masks daily, and half a million meals are secured daily by the Egyptian Armed Forces.
Commander of the National Service Projects Agency Mostafa Amin Ali stated that 25,000 tons of frozen meat, poultry, and fish were supplied. That is in addition to 15,000 tons of legumes, vegetables, fruits, and cooking oil.The agency will harvest 70,000 tons of potato, 70,000 tons of corn, and 50,000 tons of wheat soon in affiliate farms.
The Egyptian Armed Forces' companies produce detergents and sanitizers offered in packages of varioussizes to meet different needs; the size of production is 5,000 tons daily.
The Egyptian Armed Forces uses 72 tank cars to distribute octane. The capacity of each is 50 tons.More than 2,000 mobile grocery outlets are being operated by the Egyptian Armed Forces as well.
“The Armed Forces allocates 15,000 hospital rooms across the country to possible COVID-19 cases in Egypt,” Chief of Staff Mohamed Farid stated. The Egyptian chief of staff presented the equipment that would be used to set up field hospitals, if needed."The Egyptian Armed Forces deployed 1,200 trucks to transport staples to governorates," thechief of staff stated.
“The Armed Forces is taking all necessary measures to inhibit the spread of the disease among members of the military,” the chief of staff said. “The Egyptian Armed Forces is vigilant about any infiltration attempts by elements who would exploit the [COVID-19] crisis,” the chief of staff stressed.
President Sisi thanked all state institutions for the efforts exerted amid the COVID-19 crisis, asking them to do more.“Six hospitals are ready for inauguration. The capacity of each is 200 beds,” President Sisi stated.
“I call on Egyptians to stand together in the face of that challenge [COVID-19] like we did in June 30 Revolution, our [war] against terrorism, the economic reform program, praised by all the international institutions,” Sisi underlined.
“The entire world is wary of the economic consequences of the pandemic. Yet, I urge people not to be paranoid about the virus,” President Sisi said. “If people are being more responsible, infections would decline rather than rise. The disease is still under control in Egypt,” President Sisi highlighted. “I extend condolences over the COVID-19 victims in Egypt and worldwide,” President Sisi said.
“I see what people are doing in the non-curfew hours. I see people not putting on masks in public transportation. I see they aren’t cautious enough. We don’t want to take stricter measures,” Sisi warned.
“It’s okay to distribute masks for free,” Egypt’s President Sisi stated as he instructed the Egyptian Armed Forces to distribute masks for free.
“I want to tackle the issue of doubting the state. Doubts targeted the New Suez Canal and energy projects among others but we accomplished them,” President Sisi pointed out.
“The evil segment leading the doubting campaign aims to penetrate the state institutions. They would treat you well for around 5 years and then rule unilaterally,” Egypt’s president addressed the people.
“The goal of incepting a rumor that social allowance would be paid at a certain bank branch before procedures are over aimed at promoting frustration among people,” the Egyptian president said commenting on the crowds that gathered at a branch of the National Bank of Egypt in Agouza to receive the LE500 exceptional monthly allowance.
“Allowance will be delivered to eligible citizens without gatherings,” President Sisi stated.
The president also criticized rumors about a shortage in staples.President Sisi affirmed there is no shortage in staples, and that all staples are always secured for three months ahead.
The inauguration of national projects in accordance with the timeline is risky. One of the reasons is the lockdown in countries supplying equipment and other input, which crippled their exports, according to President Sisi.
However, that does not mean construction will stop. “I urge state institutions to continue the construction of national projects,” Egyptian President Sisi said. “We are building 100,000 new fully-furnished social housing units. Each costs around LE200,000,” Egypt’s president stated.
“I do not support a total lockdown in the country. That is dangerous. Millions of working people [would be harmed],” President Sisi explained. “The shutdown of schools, colleges, and universities protects around 22 million students,” President Sisi clarified.
“I call upon the public sector to allow older employees and women to not come to office. I also call upon the private sector to do the same without reducing salaries,” President Sisi stated.
President Sisi affirmed that LE100 billion have been allocated to face the COVID-19 crisis, refuting attempts to doubt the decision.President Sisi also instructed the Egyptian Armed Forces to distribute around 3-4 million staple boxes at subsidized prices and for free among certain social segments if needed.
President Sisi highlights that families eligible for the LE500 exceptional monthly allowance will be receiving LE1,200 per month when counting ration cards and subsidized bread.
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is offering LE50 billion in loans to the tourism sector which is exempted from real estate tax for 3 months, President Sisi highlighted.
In addition, CBE is offering LE100 billion worth of soft loans with 5 percent interest rate for the manufacturing sector.
Furthermore, the president declared offering the civil aviation sector bailout amid COVID-19 global crisis
President Sisi cited the measures already announced to support companies and businesses to alleviate the crisis. The measures include real estate tax exemption for 3 months, paying the fees of tax statement reports over 3 installments until June 30, and removing holds on bank accounts of default investors if they pay 10% of the debt.