Half of Egyptian families borrow to make ends meet due to coronavirus: CAPMAS

Ahram Online , Saturday 20 Jun 2020

The official statistics agency CAPMAS (Photo: Al-Ahram)
The official statistics agency CAPMAS (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) said in a study published on Saturday that about half of the Egyptian families borrow from others to counter the effects of the coronavirus.

Egypt's official statistics agency also said that 17 percent of the Egyptian families rely on charity and about 5.4 percent get the irregular employment grant.

The Egyptian manpower ministry has been disbursing an exceptional three-month grant for irregular workers amounting to EGP 500 each in implementation of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's directives issued in March.

The CAPMAS study that aims to measure the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the life of Egyptian families added that the majority of Egyptian families are "fully aware" of the symptoms of the respiratory virus.

"The majority of the families (96.3 percent), slightly higher in urban areas than in the countryside, are fully aware of the symptoms of coronavirus. Most families (95.6 percent) reported that fever is among the most important symptoms of the virus, followed by sore throat (76 percent), and diarrhea (35.4 percent)," the study said.

On Friday, Egypt detected 1,774 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total infection tally to 52,211 since the outbreak began in mid-February, the health ministry announced.

About a quarter of individuals reported steady income since the emergence of the virus, while the majority of individuals (73.5 percent) reported that income has decreased, and less than one percent reported increased income, the study added.

Earlier in April, CAPMAS announced that the unemployment rate increased to 9.2 percent from end of March to end of April after it had declined to 7.7 percent in the first quarter of 2020, down from eight percent during the same quarter of 2019. That came as a result of the preventive measures the government has adopted to contain the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an attempt to curtail the spread of the virus the cabinet has applied a series of preventive measures since March. In addition to imposing a night-time curfew, the cabinet has also suspended air traffic, shuttering schools and universities, closing mosques and churches and banning public gatherings.

Many of these restrictions are now in the process of being revised, as the government calls on the country to “coexist” with the virus.

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