Egypt’s PM displays plan to ‘coexist’ with coronavirus, announces new measures



Sun, 17 May 2020 - 01:06 GMT


Sun, 17 May 2020 - 01:06 GMT

FILE – Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli

FILE – Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli

CAIRO – 17 May 2020: Egypt's Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli on Sunday announced a bundle of measures as part of the state’s plan to restore normal life amid the coronavirus crisis, including the situation during next week, which includes Islamic Eid Al-Fitr holiday.

In a press conference attended by a number of ministers, Madbouli said the world started to move toward plans to "co-exist" with the coronavirus, so the Egyptian state and people have to work on restoring normal life, while taking into consideration some preventive measures.

Next week, all shopping centers, malls, restaurants, beaches and parks will be closed, Madbouli said. Also, public transportation will be halted.

A night curfew between 5 p.m and 6 a.m. will be imposed between Sunday, May 24th and Friday, May 29th, he added.

As Muslims gather during the Eid prayers twice a year in massive numbers inside and around mosques, Madbouli said the Eid prayers will not be held this year as they will only be broadcast from one of the state's mosques, with the attendance of few employees who work in this mosque.

Post-Eid measures
Concerning the state’s plan following Eid Al-Fitr holiday, Madbouli said wearing face masks in public places will be mandatory and penalties will be imposed on violators.

Citizens will not be allowed to take public or private transportation means unless they wear masks, he added.

Madbouli suggested wearing cloth masks to face the novel coronavirus, in a bid to tackle shortage in the medial single-use masks, saying factories are encouraged to help in the production of cloth masks.

Starting May 30, all malls, shopping centers and services will open and a night curfew will be imposed from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. for two weeks, Madbouli said.

The Thanaweya Amma (third year of secondary school) tests will be held starting June 21st, Madbouli noted.

In mid-June, sport venues and sport clubs and activities will be opened gradually, he said.

Attending the conference, Education Minister Tarek Shawki said the state is keen to sterilize schools during the upcoming Thanaweya Amma tests, to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

Preventive measures will be considered during the tests including maintaining social distancing, he noted.

Students also have the option to postpone their exams to the coming year, he added.

Daily report
The Health Ministry on Saturday said 491 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Egypt recently, bringing the total number of cases to 11719.

The ministry also reported 20 deaths due to the novel virus, bringing the total number to 612.

Also, the test results of 3,526 people turned from positive to negative, the ministry said, including 2,950 people who totally recovered. It added that 151 patients left hospitals.

On May 14, Egypt released a coexistence plan to deal with the coronavirus pandemic over the coming period. The government highlights the importance of abiding by precautionary measures while preparing to gradually resume the normal life cycle.

The plan comes as a bid to reduce the number of infections and deaths, achieve a balance between maintaining a normal life cycle and abiding by the precautionary measures, to get rid of the negative psychological effects of the outbreak, and to avoid crowds resulting from services like transportation and shopping.

Cinemas, theaters, cafes, fitness halls, and sports clubs should remain closed during the period of coexisting with the coronavirus in light of the first phase of the ministry’s plan to cope with the virus set to start at the beginning of June.

The ministry also recommended keeping the ban on weddings and funerals and suspending universities, schools, kindergartens, and nurseries.



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