Egypt records biggest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases
People's Daily

A worker wearing a face mask is seen at a gas station in Cairo, Egypt, on April 28, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

CAIRO, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Egypt on Tuesday recorded 720 new COVID-19 cases, in the biggest single-day rise in the infections with the novel coronavirus since the country reported its first case in mid-February.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Egypt jumped to 13,484, as the death toll rose to 659 after 14 fatalities were added, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

Egypt also reported a record daily recoveries of 302, bringing the total number of recoveries in the country to 3,742, the spokesman said.

Egypt has been witnessing a continuing surge in COVID-19 infections since the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on April 24.

The most populous Arab country is implementing a nationwide nine-hour curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time during Ramadan that will end on May 23.

Starting May 24, the first day of the post-Ramadan Eid al-Fitr holiday, the evening curfew will be extended to 13 hours for six days in order to maintain social distancing and avoid gatherings amid the rise in the COVID-19 cases.

During the Islamic feast, all malls, shops, restaurants, public parks and beaches will be closed and all public means of transport suspended.

From May 30, the curfew will be reduced to 10 hours from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. for two weeks, before the cabinet will consider further easing restrictions and gradually resuming suspended activities.

The Egyptian government recently started to ease the anti-coronavirus restrictions by gradually reopening some services and offices halted since mid-March, amid a "coexistence plan" to maintain precautionary measures while resuming economic activities.