Businessman Naguib Sawiris - File photo/ Photo credit Hazim Abdelsamad
CAIRO – 5 APRIL 2020: Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris said Monday that he will take austerity measures due to the negative impact caused by novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) followed by businesses’ shutdown and a curfew.
Sawiris added in press statements that he decided to reduce the salaries of his employees by 50 percent till the end of the predicaments engulfing the economy stricken by COVID-19, as a tactic to avoid firing employees.
Businessman Naguib Sawiris warned Sunday against the continuation of the curfew after the two scheduled weeks, noting that the private sector is forced to cut salaries and cut out part of the employment.
"Sectors such as tourism have sacked or threatened millions of workers, and some companies are also reducing the workers' salaries to the quarter." He said, in a phone interview at a TV program.
He claimed that there are indications that the return to work is not dangerous compared to the damage to the business sectors and the expected collapse if the current situation continues after the two weeks scheduled for the quarantine.
Sawiris stated that the precautionary measures taken by the state minimized the effects of coronavirus outbreak in Egypt, calling on the Minister of Health to encourage citizens to report symptoms as soon as they are felt and to quarantine themselves in their rooms to receive appropriate treatment instead of increasing deaths due to the late arrival of injuries.
Egypt earlier applied precautionary measures aiming to curb the spread of coronavirus, the measures including imposing two-week-long curfew from 7 pm to 6 am, canceling the end-of-year exam for grades from the third primary grade till the third preparatory grade, suspending study at universities and schools across the country, closing sports centers, restaurants, cafes, bars, and commercial establishments from 7 pm to 6 am, and suspending flights through April 15.
Sawiris advised, "Do not buy shares now because we still have not reached the bottom line, and I expect that the value of companies will fall next week by 10 percent.”