Egypt distributes free face masks amid COVID-19 outbreak

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CAIRO, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian armed forces started distributing free face masks to citizens in public places to curb the spread of COVID-19, an Egyptian official said in a statement Sunday.

The move came in response to the instructions of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi "to take all necessary precautionary measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus," said Egyptian military spokesman Tamer al-Refai.

The Egyptian armed forces have recently opened five new production lines for medical face masks based on the standards of the World Health Organization, with a daily production of 100,000, he added.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Egypt, the army has been assisting other state departments and institutions in disinfecting public places.

Until Saturday night, Egypt has confirmed 1,939 COVID-19 cases after the first was discovered in mid-February, including 146 deaths and 426 recoveries.

Egypt has so far suspended schools and universities, halted flights, cancelled sports activities, closed entertainment places and malls, stopped mass prayers and shut down museums and archeological sites to curb the spread of the virus.

The North African country is implementing a nationwide 10-hour nighttime curfew for two weeks until April 23. Enditem

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