Cairo: At least 18 people died after a truck rammed into several cars that were waiting at a checkpoint near Cairo during a nighttime curfew imposed due to the coronavirus, security sources said Thursday.

The tragedy happened on a highway in Giza south of Cairo late Wednesday, they added.

The truck driver was arrested and told police he had lost control of the wheel and crashed into 15 cars queuing at the checkpoint, private Egyptian newspaper reported.

An 11-hour curfew started across Egypt on Wednesday as part of measures aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus in the populous country of about 100 million people.

Egypt has recorded 21 deaths from the Covid-19 and a total of 456 infections.