News Alerts

23 Apr 2020 | 03:20 PM UTC

Egypt: Government extends nighttime curfew through Ramadan April 23 /update 16

Egypt News Alert

Government extends nationwide nighttime curfew and other COVID-19 restrictions through Ramadan April 23; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/23/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/24/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Cairo). COUNTRY/REGION Egypt

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Event

On Thursday, April 23, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced that Egypt's nighttime curfew will be extended through the month of Ramadan due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) concerns. Ramadan, which is set to begin on Friday, April 24, will last until late May, likely between Saturday, May 23, and Sunday, May 24. Additionally, curfew hours will be adjusted during this period and will run from 21:00 to 06:00 (local time). Madbouly added that the government expects to begin relaxing COVID-19-related restrictions after Ramadan.

On Tuesday, April 7, the Egyptian government announced that all public religious gatherings will be banned during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan due to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. The government will ban all gatherings, public iftars, fast-breaking meals, and collective social activities.

As of March 25, public transportation has been halted, and most public services and government offices are closed to the public during curfew hours. Shops and malls, with the exception of groceries, bakeries, and pharmacies, will only be permitted to open from 07:00 to 17:00 daily.

As of Tuesday, April 7, Egyptian citizens returning to the country are obliged to sign a written acknowledgement for a mandatory quarantine. The policy applies to citizen passengers of government-chartered flights, and further states that the quarantine will take place at hotels at the passenger's own expense. Medical services, however, will be provided free of charge. Grounding of international flights, first established on Thursday, March 19, has been extended until further notice.

On March 29, the Central Bank of Egypt announced a temporary daily cash withdrawal limit of 10,000 Egyptian pounds (USD 636) for individuals and 50,000 Egyptian pounds (USD 3184) for companies. ATM withdrawals are capped at 5000 Egyptian pounds (USD 318). The bank also encouraged the use of digital bank transfers and electronic payments to reduce contact and exposure. Associated fees have been waived.

To date, there have been 3659 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country and 276 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

 

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