Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Sisi Says Confident Egypt will Overcome Coronavirus Crisis

Sisi Says Confident Egypt will Overcome Coronavirus Crisis

Wednesday, 8 April, 2020 - 08:30
An Egyptian citizen watches the speech of Egypt's PM Mostafa Madbouly, at an empty coffee shop, following the government instructions to slow down the spread of the coronavirus disease in Cairo, Egypt (file photo: Reuters
Cairo - Mohamed Nabil Helmi

President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi said Egypt and its people will overcome the coronavirus and emerge successful from this challenge.

Speaking on the sidelines of his tour to the armed forces to check over preparations to confront the pandemic, Sisi said the authorities' strategy on facing COVID-19 was to avoid creating panic among the people, especially with the flow of information about injuries and anxiety concerning deaths rates.

He Sisi asserted that this shouldn’t mean ignoring the risks and reiterated that Egyptians must be careful and exert all efforts to fight this pandemic.

Sisi and top officials and military personnel were seen wearing masks in public for the first time, sending a message on the importance of preventive measures.

“We don’t want to have to take harsher measures because we don’t want life to come to a complete halt,” said Sisi.

He said that number of cases and deaths would have been less, had the country been more committed during the lockdown for two weeks since mid-March.

Sisi reassured that medical and logistical preparations to confront the virus are completed, and directed specialized agencies to distribute masks, even if for free.

“If needed, we will distribute masks at half the cost or entirely free of charge.”

Sisi asserted that there is a stock of commodities that could last for at least 3 months, in addition to other precautions to meet the unexpected circumstances, stressing that the government is committed to transparency in light of the coronavirus crisis.

He called on the private sector to take responsibility and take all measures to help its employees, announcing that the government is paying full salaries.

Ministry of Health announced 149 new cases, bringing the total number to 1,322, including 259 cured and released from isolation and 85 deaths as of Monday evening.

The Egyptian armed forces announced that 22 military hospitals were equipped with a capacity of 4,000 beds, as well as four field hospitals with a capacity of 502 isolation beds. It also indicated that they produce 100,000 protective masks daily, with a reserve of 5 million units, in addition to a thousand protective suits, with a target to produce 50,000.

In turn, Ministry of Manpower and Immigration announced it will begin giving about EGY500 to each worker recently registered in the ministry's data.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Endowments announced it was suspending all group activities during Ramadan, including food tables set in the vicinity of mosques, as well as setting up any public gatherings in any of the directorates in the holy month.

The Ministry indicated that mosques will not be open unless there were no new cases recorded.

Editor Picks