Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi Sunday urged his compatriots to support state institutions in confronting the spread of the new coronavirus. His call came a day after the Health Ministry announced two more deaths from the Covid-19, bringing the total such fatalities to 10 among 294 infection cases.

“The government has taken measures to control this virus. We need society to offer greater help,” Al Sissi said in televised remarks. Over the past days, Egyptian authorities have announced a series of steps including the closure of educational institutions, mosques, churches, a partial shutdown of coffee shops, restaurants and shopping centres, and a halt to flights to the country. But media has been full of reports criticising the public’s non-compliance with calls for staying at home and for stocking up on food items in large amounts.

“We have no problem in stocks of the essential commodities,” Al Sissi said at a meeting with a group of women on the Mother’s Day. “So why do we buy more than we need?” he added. “We need society to show more commitment and discipline to control the rapidly spreading coronavirus.”

In an attempt to ease economic repercussions of the virus, the Egyptian leader unveiled a package of financial support. They include offering 20 billion Egyptian pounds (Dh4.7 billion) from the Central Bank to the stock exchange; new pension raises and postponening credit dues on small and medium-scale businesses for six months and providing LE1 billion for exporters.