Egypt shortens coronavirus curfew hours despite rise in COVID-19 cases

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Egypt shortened a night curfew by one hour on Sunday as it recorded new highs in the daily in novel coronavirus cases and deaths.

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The Health Ministry said 1,536 new cases had been confirmed including 46 deaths, bringing total cases to 24,985 and deaths to 959.

Earlier, the prime minister’s office said a night curfew would end at 5 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. The curfew begins at 8 p.m., though its start had been brought forward to 5 p.m. last week during the holiday that follows the Eid holiday at the end of Ramadan.

The curfew is one of a number of measures including the closure of schools, cafes and places of worship, that are aimed at curbing the pandemic.

The government announced that the number of hospitals designated to deal with coronavirus cases is rising to 376 from 340, and the number of laboratories capable of processing test results to 57 from 49.

Hospitals assigned to treat coronavirus patients have 3,539 intensive care unit beds and 2,218 ventilators, a government statement said.

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Officials have signaled that they are looking to gradually ease restrictions and revive economic activity even as the number of confirmed infections accelerates.

Hotels that meet required safety standards have been allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity.

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