FILE - Beach goers enjoy Sham El-Nessim, 2019, in Alexandria - Egypt Today/Jacqueline Mounir
CAIRO – 15 April 2020: Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli on Wednesday ordered “full closure” of public gardens, beaches and any other place that can have large gatherings, few days before the Coptic Easter and the Egyptian holiday of Sham El-Nessim, in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Public gardens, clubs, cafes and most of the malls in the northeastern African country have been already closed since March, while a dusk-to-dawn is also imposed.
Meeting with governors, Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Sha’rawi Madbouli and Minister of State for Information Osama Heikah, Madbouli congratulated the Egyptian Copts on their upcoming religious ceremonies, but affirmed the need to decisively continue implementing precautionary measures to prevent gatherings.
The prime minister called for deterring any trial to violate the preventive measures taken by the state and ordered governors to focus their monitoring efforts on public squares that have green areas, coastal governorates and cities that have Nile boats.
“You take full charge of the implementation of this issue, with regard to the procedures to tackle the coronavirus. Up to this point, the matter is under control,” the prime minister said.
“Achieving better results is closely related to not giving way to any gatherings.”
Take a look on some photos of the 2018 celebrations of Sham El Nesim
CAIRO - 9 April 2018: Thousands of Egyptians went on Monday to celebrate the Pharaonic festival of Sham El-Nessim that marks the beginning of spring in national parks and gardens.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in a recent meeting, has affirmed the need to take advantage of the curfew time to remove garbage from streets, Madbouli said.
Madbouli affirmed that he is monitoring the efforts made to remove illegal buildings, urging governors to work on the immediate removal of illegal constructions. He said he has plans to personally check some sites to closely monitor such works during the coming days.
He also thanked governors for the efforts to back a national initiative to support irregular workers, whose work has been affected due to the coronavirus crisis.
Earlier in April, President Sisi ordered allocating an LE 500 ($31.7) grant for three months to irregular workers affected by the crisis.
The Egyptian government on Monday said the first batch of irregular workers who applied for receiving the grant will start cashing out their aid.
About 1,100 outlets affiliated with the Principal Bank for Development and Agriculture Credit (PBDAC) are ready to welcome the workers daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is in addition to 4,000 post offices and 600 schools.
A text message will be sent to those eligible for cashing out the aid 24 hours before receiving the money. As per the message, citizens will head to the outlet and start receiving their financial aid. The government also allocated the hotline number 142 to inquire about eligibility and cashing outlets.