200320 Egypt
Egypt has extended the early daily closure of cafes, restaurants and several other services until the end of this month in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19. Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: The Egyptian government has extended the early daily closure of several services until the end of this month in an attempt to curtail the spread of COVID-19, state television reported.

Earlier this month, the government ordered shops, malls, coffee shops, cinemas and theatres to shut down at 9pm every day for two weeks – four hours earlier than their usual closing schedule.

The curtailment, which took effect on May 6, was due to expire today.

A state committee tasked with tackling COVID-19 decided at a meeting headed by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli to extend the restriction on business operation until the end of May, the television said.

But the committee agreed to reopen public parks and beaches starting Saturday provided users strictly abide by precautions against COVID-19.

Reducing numbers

Madbouli stressed the importance of reducing the number of employees attending the workplace at the state administrative departments in a measure aimed to limit the COVID-19 spread.

Egyptian authorities have recently banned mass celebrations amid fears of a spike in infection rates during the holy month of Ramadan that ended on May 12.

Egypt, a country of over 100 million people, Wednesday night reported 1,160 new coronavirus cases and 57 deaths. The latest cases have brought the country’s infection tally to 249,238 cases and 14,498 related fatalities.

In January, Egypt launched mass vaccinations against COVID-19, beginning with health workers. Around 1.5 million people have been vaccinated against the disease so far, according to the Health Ministry.