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Egypt’s workers fear 2-week curfew extension

A volunteer (L) ties a mask onto an Egyptian woman in a street in the Egyptian capital Cairo on March 20, 2020 [KHALED DESOUKI / AFP via Getty Images]
A volunteer (L) ties a mask onto an Egyptian woman in a street in the Egyptian capital Cairo on 20 March 2020 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

Egypt has announced that it is extending its curfew for two weeks as part of measures to defeat the coronavirus crisis.

The curfew, which will extend until 23 April, will be an hour shorter, running from 8pm to 6am, where previously it began at 7pm. Citizens can leave home only for food and essentials.

All cafes, restaurants, clubs and youth centres will remain closed, as will schools and universities.

Air traffic will continue to be suspended.

The government had already announced that public gatherings, including dinners to break the fast and mass prayers, are banned during the upcoming month of Ramadan.

READ: Egypt’s informal sector struggles for food amid COVID-19 lockdown

The government has stipulated 4,000 Egyptian pound fines ($250) for people violating the measures.

The news will be particularly concerning for Egypt’s informal workers who are struggling to eat as a result of the government’s measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Coronavirus is affecting the world's economy - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Coronavirus is affecting the world’s economy – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The government have said it will take a 20 per cent pay cut and give workers 500 Egyptian pounds ($32) a month to help them through this time, but many say they have not seen this money whilst others have no idea how to apply to the online scheme.

A third of Egyptians live below the poverty line and survive on less than $2 a day. In the coming months, it’s thought that their conditions will worsen and many more will slide into poverty.

According to official figures Egypt has 1,560 confirmed cases and 103 deaths, however many believe the actual number is much higher amid a suspected government cover up.

READ: 3m tourist workers in Egypt to suffer from COVID-19 shutdown

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