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Egypt extends night-time coronavirus curfew through Ramadan

Egypt's curfew runs between 9 pm and 6 am [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 April, 2020

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Egypt will continue with its night-time curfew during the holy month as it attempts to keep the economy afloat during the coronavirus crisis.
Egypt extended on Thursday a night-time curfew in place to combat the coronavirus pandemic through the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, while announcing the gradual easing of other measures

"The partial curfew will remain in place starting tomorrow (Friday) from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am (1900-0400GMT)," and run until the end of Ramadan, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli told a news conference in Cairo. 

The curfew, in place since March 25, initially began at 7:00 pm and was eased to an 8:00 pm start in April. 

Ramadan begins this week and is marked by fasting from dawn to dusk, traditionally followed by a gathering of friends and family around an evening meal. 

As part of the easing of measures in place to stem the spread of the virus, malls and shops will be allowed to open daily until 5:00 pm during the holy month. 

Restaurants that have been closed since late March will also be permitted to open, but only for delivery and take-away.

Suspended government services will be gradually reopened starting next week, Madbouli said.

Underscoring that Egypt's economy has been "considerably impacted" by the Covid-19 crisis, the premier said the government will consider further easing restrictions toward a gradual return to normalcy after Ramadan.

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"We are trying to strike a balance between protecting the health of citizens and maintaining economic activity," he said.

Egypt has since late March imposed strict measures to slow contagion among the country's 100 million people.

Flights have been grounded and schools and universities shuttered along with religious and tourist sites. 

Authorities have also implemented disinfection operations at archaeological sites and museums across the country. 

Egypt's health ministry has so far reported 3,659 cases of the Covid-19 disease, including 276 deaths.

Madbouli urged Egyptians to respect social distancing measures, saying stricter regulations could be imposed if the number of Covid-19 cases spikes.

"If we find that there is an excessive increase in cases, we will take immediate and possibly tougher measures," he said.

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