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24 Mar, 2020 11:33

Egypt imposes nighttime curfew, partially closes shops to fight coronavirus spread

Egypt imposes nighttime curfew, partially closes shops to fight coronavirus spread

The Egyptian government has imposed a two-week long curfew and is shutting down shops and restaurants to curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in the country.

The curfew will be in force between 7pm and 6am starting Wednesday and apply to all citizens and transport, Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly announced in a televised address. Violators would be subjected to fines and prison terms.

Businesses will have to stay shut between 5pm and 6am on all days except Fridays and Saturdays, when they will not be allowed to open at all. Supermarkets, pharmacies and bakeries however will be exempt.

Cafes and restaurants will be allowed to deliver food, but not service patrons on their premises.

Madbouly said most government offices will be shut. The government also decided to extend the closure of schools and universities for two more weeks.

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Compared to other nations, Egypt has relatively few Covid-19 cases. As of Monday, the nation’s health ministry reported 399 patients with the disease, with the death toll standing at 19.

Middle Eastern countries have been relatively spared by the Covid-19 pandemic so far, with the noticeable exception of Iran, where the majority of some 31,000 cases in the region have been registered.

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