Egyptian students go to their classes at a primary school in Baragil neighborhood of Giza, Egypt. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Egypt has postponed examinations of the first semester for all students until after the mid-year break amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

Students usually sit for the exams in Egypt before they take the mid-year holiday, which was originally scheduled for early February this year.

But the government said that it agreed to postpone exams at all education levels in the country until the end of the holiday and that students will get online education for the next two weeks instead of attending schools as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The government has also brought forward the mid-year holiday to start on January 16 until February 20, longer than the usual two-week break.

The measures were taken on directives of President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi, state media reported.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country of over 100 million people, has seen a steady increase in daily infection rates in recent weeks.

The Health Ministry Thursday night reported 1,418 new infection cases and 55 related deaths, raising the total infections to 138,062 and fatality tally to 7,631.

The government said that from Sunday it will start imposing an on-the-spot fine of 50 Egyptian pounds (Dh11.7) on every person failing to wear the protective face mask on means of transport, government agencies offering public services, banks and malls.