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Egypt: Jail Time, Fines for Spreading Coronavirus Rumors

Egypt: Jail Time, Fines for Spreading Coronavirus Rumors

Sunday, 29 March, 2020 - 08:15
A woman wears a protective mask following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while riding a metro on a line Shubra al-Khaimah to Tahrir Square, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Rania Goma

The Egyptian Public Prosecution has called on citizens to refrain from publishing or circulating rumors and false news, adding that those who do may be imprisoned for five years and fined EGP 20,000 in accordance with the law.

It added that legal action will be taken in conformity with articles 80 and 188 of the criminal law. The prosecution further continued that the punishment aims at standing up to rumor-mongers, who seek to disturb public order and stir up panic among the people.

The cabinet's media office denied on Saturday news circulating related to granting pay raises to citizens. The office affirmed that the state didn’t issue any decisions or statements in this context.

According to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, a security officer denied claims of strikes taking place in Egypt’s prisons due to the novel coronavirus.

The prosecution called on citizens to verify the authenticity of news published on social media platforms.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Minister of Health Hala Zayed said on Saturday that as many as 121 cases have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals.

Zayed said that 20,000 tests have been conducted nationwide, and “the rate of recovering in the country is 28% which is good according to the World Health Organization (WHO)”.

Moreover, the Ministry of Health and Population stated that a total of 70 percent of diagnosed cases contacted COVID-19 patients or arrived from infected countries -- this called for isolation and tracking measures. It added that the death rate reached 5.5 percent.

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