Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris – Press photo
CAIRO – 31 March 2020: Businessman Naguib Sawiris warned Sunday against the continuation of the curfew after the two scheduled weeks, noting that the private sector is forced to cut salaries and cut out part of the employment.
"Sectors such as tourism have sacked or threatened millions of workers, and some companies are also reducing the workers salaries to the quarter." He said, in a phone interview at a TV program.
He claimed that there are indications that the return to work is not dangerous compared to the damage to the business sectors and the expected collapse if the current situation continues after the two weeks scheduled for the quarantine.
Sawiris stated that the precautionary measures taken by the state minimized the effects of coronavirus outbreak in Egypt, calling on the Minister of Health to encourage citizens to report symptoms as soon as they are felt and to quarantine themselves in their rooms to receive appropriate treatment instead of increasing deaths due to the late arrival of injuries.
Egypt earlier applied precautionary measures aiming to curb the spread of coronavirus, the measures including imposing two-week-long curfew from 7 pm to 6 am, canceling the end-of-year exam for grades from the third primary grade till the third preparatory grade, suspending study at universities and schools across the country, closing sports centers, restaurants, cafes, bars, and commercial establishments from 7 pm to 6 am, and suspending flights through April 15.
Sawiris advised, "Do not buy shares now because we still have not reached the bottom line, and I expect that the value of companies will fall next week by 10 percent.”
The businessman clarified that his investment in gold eliminated the negative effect of the virus on his business despite the decline of the gold prices expecting them to rebound again.
The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) ended Monday’s session on a mixed note, losing LE 8.9 billion of market capitalization, amid Arab and foreign selling.
EGX 30 dipped 2.45 percent, EGX 50 decreased 1.20 percent, or 16.13 points, to end at 1,323.7 points, and EGX 100 dropped 1.47 percent, while EGX 70 rose 0.31 percent.
On the same note, President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi announced announced, on Mar. 22, in full the country’s economic plan, in face of the novel coronavirus.
CAIRO - 22 March 2020: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday announced in full the country's economic plan, in face of the novel coronavirus, as he read out loud a number of economic decisions, while marking the national Women's Day. This is considered to be Sisi's first public comments on coronavirus, since it started in Egypt.