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Egypt’s Cabinet Holds First Virtual Meeting Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Egypt’s Cabinet Holds First Virtual Meeting Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Credit: Egypt’s cabinet.

Egypt’s cabinet held its first virtual meeting today while adhering to social distancing measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The cabinet discussed and agreed on the new sustainable development plan for 2020/2021, which was prepared in light of the negative repercussions of the coronavirus crisis on the global economy.

New growth targets were set, with expectations of a 4.5% growth rate in the next fiscal year for 2020-2021, though it is estimated to go down to 3.5% if the coronavirus crisis continues until mid-year.

Inflation is likely to increase to 9.8% if the coronavirus crisis lasts until December 2020 as a result of the increasing demand on certain products, mainly medical supplies and detergents.

Private investments will most likely decrease, which will in turn affect the total volume of investments continuing until the middle of the next fiscal year 2020/2021. Total investment is expected to decrease from 960 billion pounds to 740 billion pounds (a decrease of 220 billion pounds -23%).

Minister of Planning Hala El Saeed pointed out that the conditions of the current crisis impose a number of challenges but also offer a great deal of opportunities in the medium term, the most important of which is the localization of the Egyptian industry in replace of imports, particularly imports of intermediate goods.

As of today, Ministry of Health announced 39 new cases and 3 deaths, bringing the total number infected to 495.

In its latest measures to counter the spread of COVID-19, Egypt has announced a partial curfew effective March 25 for two weeks.

Similar to ’emergency’ social-distancing measures taken by other nations, the curfew is set for 7 pm to 6 am.

All violators to the curfew risk either a jail term or a fine starting from EGP 4,000 ($253).

Moreover, the government has also ordered the closing of places of mass gatherings such as shopping malls, restaurants and cafes during the weekend, limiting their operations to only the weekdays and until 5 pm. Food delivery services are expected to continue.

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