MP suggests imposing curfew in Egypt to curb spread of coronavirus

MP Mohamed Fouad submitted a memorandum to the House of Representatives that suggested imposing a curfew in Egypt to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Arabic daily Youm7 reported on Friday.

Egypt, which has confirmed 256 cases of the virus and seven deaths, is witnessing an “imminent threat” to public health, the memo read.

The Egyptian government has taken extraordinary measures to slow the spread of the virus, like canceling the end-of-year exam for the third primary grade and the second 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 March 31.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly also issued a resolution to reduce the number of workers in government departments and agencies, instructing work from home whenever possible, as part of Egypt’s various precautionary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to Fouad, the government has been successful in reducing the number of employees at the office or various places of work in both the public and private sector by half.

Fouad said that despite all the precautionary measures taken by the Egyptian government, the number of infections is increasing, while people continued to gather in groups in the streets. 

Many Egyptians are taking the crisis too lightly, he stressed.

According to the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, the total number of coronavirus cases in Egypt rose to 256 on Thursday, with 46 additional cases reported, making the curfew decision “imperative,” Fouad’s memo said.

Fouad emphasized that the curfew would come as part of the other precautionary measures taken to confront the virus.

Many countries imposed a curfew to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and to control the area where it spread so it can address it effectively, according to Fouad.

Tunisia recently announced a 12-hour curfew, and parts of the United States, France, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Germany have put curfews in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.

In Jordan, the government put the nation on lockdown and the army closed off the capital, Amman, from the rest of the country on Thursday to fight the spread of coronavirus. A formal curfew was announced on Friday and will begin on Saturday.

Authorities in Lebanon have also imposed a nationwide lockdown.

Fouad suggested imposing a curfew from 6 pm to 6 am nationwide, saying the precautionary measures taken by the government were not enough to limit the spread of the virus.

Image: A passerby has his temperature checked for free with a device belonging to a shop, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Cairo, Egypt March 19, 2020 (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

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