Egypt’s interior ministry issued a statement on Wednesday saying that legal action had been taken against 5,226 drivers of public transport vehicles for their lack of commitment to wearing protective masks, all in only a 24-hour period.
Masks have been mandatory since 30 May on public transport, in shops, banks, government offices and private businesses, with violators facing fines of up to EGP4,000.
The ministry’s statement added that 483 violations had also been issued in a 24-hour period for shops that did not adhere to the recently-applied mandatory closure timing.
The cafes, restaurants, and other venues are currently allowed to operate until 12am, while shops are to close at 10pm, at a maximum occupancy rate of 50 per cent.
Wednesday’s statement added that the legal actions come in the context of the ministry’s concern for the safety of citizens and in implementation of the precautionary measures taken by state agencies to limit the spread of the coronavirus; to preserve public health; and face the repercussions of the spread of the reparatory virus.
They also came in light of the cabinet's directives to organise opening and closing times for shops, as well as obliging all drivers of public transport to wear protective masks, the statement said.
On Tuesday, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called on Egyptians to adhere to preventive measures against COVID-19 to curb the spread of the virus, which the president said “still exists” in the country.
“The awareness of citizens is the true vaccine,” added the Egyptian president , calling on citizens to wear facemasks and follow social distancing guidelines.
Concerns about seeing a second wave of the pandemic have been growing domestically, with a slight increase in the daily coronavirus infection toll recorded over the past two weeks following three months of a low and steady rate hovering around the 100-150 mark.
Earlier in November, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said that the country “will exercise zero tolerance” against people who fail to adhere to preventive measures against.
Egypt has so far registered 113,742 cases of coronavirus, including 102,103 fully recovered patients and 6,573 fatalities.