Egypt now has 5,042 COVID-19 cases, which happens to be the highest in Africa, currently.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, on Tuesday, extended the nationwide state of emergency for another three months, according to the country’s official gazette.
In a presidential decree, al-Sisi justified the move, saying that the country faces “dangerous” conditions in the fields of health and security.
The state of emergency allows the authorities to take exceptional measures, including the referral of terrorism suspects to state security courts, the imposition of curfews, and the censoring of newspapers.
Besides terrorism, the Middle Eastern country is tackling the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed over 200,000 lives worldwide.
The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population confirmed 20 more fatalities from COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the national death toll to 359. The number of cases stand at 5,042, along with 1,304 recoveries.
Cairo imposed a night-time curfew, along with other measures, to combat the spread of the virus last month.
As countries ease the restrictions, Egypt, a nation of nearly 100 million people, too has allowed malls and shops to open daily until 5 p.m. during the holy month of Ramadan. The curfew now starts at 9 p.m. instead of the previous 8 p.m., and continues till 6 a.m.
Schools and universities, mosques and tourist sites, however, still remain shut.
*Writing and additional input by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara