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Egypt extends night-time curfew in fight against virus

Wednesday April 8 2020

Egyptian men wearing masks

Egyptian men wearing masks wait outside a centre of the Egyptian Food Bank in Cairo to receive cartons with foodstuffs on April 5, 2020, as the charity distributes aid to people who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic crisis. PHOTO | MOHAMED EL-SHAHED | AFP 

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Egypt will extend a nationwide night-time curfew by a further two weeks in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli said on Wednesday.

He told a news conference the measure would be enforced from 8pm (1800 GMT) to 6:00 am and run until April 23.

The curfew would start an hour later, he said, to avoid overcrowding in public transport.

Schools and universities, as well as restaurants and cafes would also remain closed until then, while food outlets would be allowed to offer delivery services only.



To stem the spread of the coronavirus, authorities have also halted air traffic until the end of the month and closed tourist and religious sites.

Penalities against violators including fines of up to 4,000 Egyptian pounds (just over $250) and even prison, the prime minister said.

Madbouli also announced that cabinet members will take a 20 percent salary cut for three months, and allocate that sum to underprivileged Egyptians.

Egypt's health ministry has so far declared 94 fatalities out of 1,450 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Authorities have in recent weeks carried out sweeping disinfection operations at archaeological sites, museums and other sites across the country.

In tandem, strict social distancing measures were imposed to reduce the risk of contagion among the country's 100 million inhabitants.