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People wear protective face masks amid concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walk in front of the closed El Sayeda Zainab Mosque near markets that sell traditional Ramadan lanterns, in Cairo Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Twelve coronavirus patients have died in Egypt where 269 new people have tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.

The Ministry of Health and Population announced that the country’s total count of COVID-19 has risen to 5,537, including 1,381 recoveries and 392 fatalities.

Dr. Khalid Mujahid, adviser to the Minister of Health and Population for Media Affairs and the ministry’s official spokesperson, said the newly confirmed cases include three foreigners.

He said 46 patients have made full recovery and were discharged from hospitals.

The announcement comes two days after Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi declared the nationwide state of emergency for another three months.

The state of emergency allows authorities to take exceptional measures, including the referral of terrorism suspects to state security courts, the imposition of curfews, and the censoring of newspapers.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, Cairo has imposed a nighttime curfew, along with other precautionary measures, to combat the spread of the virus.

As countries ease the restrictions, Egypt, a nation of nearly 100 million people, has also allowed malls and shops to open daily until 5pm during the holy month of Ramadan. The curfew now starts at 9pm, instead of the previous 8pm and continues until 6am.

Schools and universities, mosques and tourist sites, however, still remain closed until further notice.