Egypt's Sisi extends state of emergency for 3 months

Ahram Online , Tuesday 28 Apr 2020

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has issued a decree extending a nationwide state of emergency for three months starting Tuesday, state news agency MENA said.

The decree was published in the official gazette on Monday.

According to the decree, the extension allows the Egyptian armed forces and police to “take [measures] necessary to confront the dangers and the funding of terrorism and to safeguard security in all parts of the country."

The state of emergency was first declared in April 2017 after two church bombings which killed dozens of people. It has been constantly renewed ever since for a period not exceeding three months in accordance with the Egyptian constitution.

Last week, the parliament passed a number of amendments to a law regulating the state of emergency that give greater powers to the presidency and the military prosecution as authorities fight the coronavirus outbreak.

The amendments allow authorities to put in place a series of measures to contain the spread of the virus, some of which have already been enforced including suspending schools and banning public and private gatherings.

They also allow the state to ban the export of certain goods and impose restrictions on the trade of commodities, according to a report by the parliament.

The state will also be allowed to instruct private hospitals and their staff to help with public healthcare for a limited period in case of emergency, and to turn schools and youth centers into field hospitals.  

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