Members of Parliament start voting on the newly-proposed amendments to the 2014 Constitution on Thursday- Egypt Today/Hazem Abdel-Samad
CAIRO - 25 April 2020: Egypt’s House of Representatives passed new amendments to the Law of Health Precautions against Infectious Diseases No. 137 of 1908, granting the Ministry of Health larger powers to fight the outbreak of an infectious disease amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As per the newly-added articles, the minister of health has the authority to require individuals to wear medical face masks and other medical protective equipment while they are outside their homes in extremis. Violation against wearing medical protective equipment such as a face mask is a crime and punishable by a fine between LE 300 and LE 5,000.
The new amendments empowered the ministry of health to take all necessary measures in dealing with the burial of deceased patients who died of a pandemic. In case anyone rejects to bury a person who dies of a contagious disease shall face imprisonment and a fine between LE 5,000 and LE 10,000.
The punishment could be doubled if the act of the crime was repeated by the same offender.
On April 11, 2020, a controversy sparked when some locals of Shubra al-Bahw village, in Dakahlia [ Egypt’s Delta], protested the burial of a female doctor who died of Coronavirus as they feared of infection with the virus if she was buried at the village cemeteries. However, the security forces dispersed their protest by using tear gas bombs to bury the 64-year-old doctor. The act of refusal was denounced by the religious bodies; Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawqi Allam issued a fatwa (Islamic decision) prohibiting this act. One week later, some dwellers of the village apologized for the actions of those who tried to prevent the burial.
As yet, the COVID-19 cases in Egypt reached 4092 and the mortality to 294 deaths. The number of coronavirus cases whose tests turned from positive to negative increased to 1417, including 1075 people who recovered from the virus.
On April 18, 2020, the Legislative Committee of the Egyptian House of Representatives approved new amendments to the Emergency Law NO. 162 of 1958, giving the president more powers to face the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The new amendments give the president the power to take the necessary measures concerning the health emergency that Egypt declared since mid-March to fight the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
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CAIRO- 18 April 2020: The Legislative Committee of the Egyptian House of Representatives has approved new amendments to the Emergency Law NO. 162 of 1958, giving the president more powers to face the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Since mid-March, Egypt has taken certain strict measures to protect the public from the spread of coronavirus pandemic. The government has taken gradual steps in dealing with the coronavirus spread, starting with suspending schools and universities, and international flights.
Furthermore, a night-time curfew has been imposed since March 24, 2020. Additionally, the Ministry of Awqaf [Endowment] extended the closure of the mosques and the places of worship nationwide until further notice.