Interior Ministry headquarters (Reuters)
An extensive plan by the Egyptian police to combat the coronavirus includes sanitising prisons and police facilities, arresting people who spread rumours, and carrying out raids against price gougers, the interior ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
All prisons and detention sites have been sanitised to “ensure the safety of inmates and prison staff,” the ministry said.
The measures also saw the deployment of disinfection and sterilisation teams at police services buildings and facilities.
The ministry said police have arrested “several” people for “spreading rumours and false statements and news” on social media about the number of coronavirus cases and the measures adopted by the state to combat the virus.
The ministry has also made many of its services available online through its website (Moi.gov.eg), to limit the number of people visiting its facilities. These services include issuing driving and car licenses, civil registry and work permits.
Security forces have also intensified raids to curb attempts to hoard food commodities, detergents, disinfectants and medical supplies and to ensure prices remain unchanged amid a rising demand due to the coronavirus outbreak, the statement added.
The ministry also said it would provide basic commodities at 30 reduced prices starting April as part of a broader initiative sponsored by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and launched by the ministry in mid-2018.