Egypt may resort to lockdown, curfew in some regions if coronavirus cases increase: Cabinet

Ahram Online , Sunday 22 Mar 2020

A cabinet spokesman said that the state may impose a curfew or a lockdown in some regions if cases of the coronavirus reach 1,000

An Egyptian worker sprays disinfectant at Cairo's Ramses railway station in the Egyptian capital on March 20, 2020, as part of a campaign to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo: AFP)

Egypt may resort to locking down certain regions if the rate of coronavirus infections increases, an Egyptian cabinet spokesman said.

“Everything is possible, and stricter measures may be taken at any time; it all depends on the rate of infections,” cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said in TV comments on Saturday.

"We will not wait until we reach a [massive] number of [infections]," he said, adding that Egypt may impose a lockdown or curfew in some regions if the number of infections rises to 1,000.

Egypt has so far registered 294 coronavirus cases, including 10 deaths.

“If the virus hits a certain region in Egypt, and we find it necessary to isolate it… it’s very likely that we will take that decision.”

Egypt announced nine new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, a figure that proves that the transmission rate of the virus is still under control, Saad said.

“The infection rate in Egypt is not scary; however, that doesn’t mean that we are safe," he said. "Nothing is guaranteed... the rates [of infection] may decrease or increase to an uncontrollable phase.”

According to Saad, “people’s behaviors” will be the thing that determines which scenario takes place.

“If we want to avoid a major outbreak, people should fear and respect the virus… if you fear the virus and act accordingly, you’re safe”

The cabinet spokesman stressed that measures by the government are not enough to prevent the pandemic, commitment by individuals is also crucial.

Saad added that he expects the two-week closure of schools and universities, due to last till the end of March, will likely be extended.

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