Experts have recommended that the Egyptian regime impose a curfew and enact new laws that include penalties for violators of precautionary measures and instructions to confront the new coronavirus, sources have said. These recommendations came in light of people’s lack of commitment to stay away from social events that include large numbers of citizens. From a legal standpoint, the declared state of emergency in Egypt gives General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi the right to impose a curfew in Egypt. In practice, however, the state of emergency was declared in Egypt in the wake of several bombings targeting a number of churches and was used to confront opponents and demonstrations rejecting al-Sisi’s regime, not to protect the people.
Media sources predicted that it would not be long before a curfew was imposed on the country, especially since these recommendations were issued by the General Intelligence Service (GIS). The sources confirmed to Egypt Watch that the Egyptian government was hesitant about the decision. A previous report also recommended the suspension of aviation after a recommendation by the Ministry of Health to suspend flights to and from certain European countries, namely Italy, France, and Germany. At first this was rejected for political reasons, then later accepted. The sources said that the GIS in Egypt submitted a new report that included recommendations for new measures to confront the spread of coronavirus. The new report called for the necessity of accelerating the transition to the third stage of confronting the virus. The report recommended that strict penal measures be imposed against violators of precautionary measures. The report also recommended that privileges for medical teams facing the crisis be raised, in light of a state of anger between doctors over the risks they face after the allowance infection for doctors was estimated at EGP 19 per month (about $1). The sources said that a presidential decree might be issued within days to increase the infection allowance for doctors, nursing teams and support teams. The report also recommended that the suspension of study in schools and universities be extended for an additional 15 days, and that movement between different governorates restricted to prevent the transmission of infection from governorates which have a high number of confirmed cases including Damietta, Dakahlia, South Sinai and Aswan. These recommendations come despite the opposition of some parties within the government to impose a curfew inside the country, due to fear over investments and the collapse of tourism. The new recommendations came in light of a real crisis regarding the “unknown cases,” or the infected who are not known to the Ministry of Health and are not in isolation hospitals.
The Egyptian regime says that there are 210 infected people in Egypt, including six deaths and 28 recoveries. Disease specialists in Canada estimate the real numbers to be more than 19,300, which the Egyptian regime has vehemently denied. On Tuesday Egyptian authorities closed the British newspaper The Guardian and withdrew its accreditation and issued an ultimatum to a New York Times reporter claiming they violated professional rules after they published the figures issued by the Canadian specialists. It is widely believed that the Egyptian regime is hiding the true numbers of those injured. This was promoted by the World Health Organisation’s announcement that there are 3,050 suspected cases of coronavirus in Egypt. This morning the government announced that all restaurants, cafes, night clubs, casinos and shopping centres would be shut from 7pm to 6am as part of efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus. Pharmacies, bakeries and supermarkets are exempt from this.