As Egyptians and residents in Egypt enter their second day of partial curfew in a bid to curb the COVID-19 infection rates, the latter have reached 536, with 30 deaths and 116 recoveries, according to the Ministry of Health.
Although it’s been over a month since Egypt recorded its first case, the number of those infected has risen gradually over the last weeks, with experts and authorities citing the next weeks as critical for the outbreak’s progression in the Middle East’s most populated nation.
With no indication of the COVID-19 outbreak subsisting, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has extended the suspension of international air traffic in nationwide airports until April 15, two weeks after the initial set date of March 31, as per Egypt Independent.
On Tuesday, the Egyptian government announced a partial ‘night’ 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.
Prime Minister Mabdouly also announced that schools and universities are to remain closed until mid-April.
All governmental services and institutions are also to halt during this time except for those providing health and civil services (birth and death certificates, and marriage registrations).
It remains unclear how the governmental measures of prevention will coincide with the upcoming holy month of Ramadan when large gatherings and mosque prayers are common.
As the pandemic hit every continent except for Antarctica, countries are racing to slow the spread and repercussions of the viral disease.
Taking the lead for the most amount of confirmed cases is the US which has recently reached 86,000 cases and 1,500 deaths followed by China 81,000 cases and 3,200 deaths.
After China, infection rates have soared to 80,000 in Italy, killing over 9,000 followed by high rates in Spain, Germany, France, the UK and Iran.