Egypt’s PM: Tough coronavirus measures can be re-imposed if cases surge again

Egypt Today

 Egypt’s Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli on Wednesday said strict and tough measures on coronavirus may be re-imposed, if the number of cases surged again, adding that public gardens and beaches will remain closed during Muslim’s Eid Al-Adha holiday. In Islam, there are two major Eids, namely Eid al-Fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast) celebrating the end of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) which coincides with the Hajj and commemorates Prophet Abraham’s sacrifice of a sheep in place of his son, Ismael.

In a press conference held only a day before Eid, Madbouli said indications show improvement in the Egyptian economy despite the coronavirus circumstances.

Concerning railway system, Madbouli said investment in this sector now reached LE 1 trillion ($62.6 billion), after it had suffered from negligence. He added that the state started an expanded investment plan to fully develop the railway system. Attending the press conference, Minister of Transportation Kamel Al-Wazir said the Railway Authority operates 900 trains daily, adding that 38 new trains will be operated with higher fares for the new trains only.

"The imported Russian trains will operate for the first time after Eid al-Adha, where the new trains will be installed at the main stations but without passengers entry until August," said sources at Egypt’s Railway Authority. Egypt’s Railway Authority earlier in July distributed the first three Russian trains at Cairo, Alexandria, Assiut, and Luxor.

The agreement with the Russian-Hungarian alliance, led by Transmashholding Company, includes the supply of the 1300 vehicles within 40 months of the date of activating the signed contract. The cost of the 1,300 vehicles is up to €1.065 billion that are being funded in the form of a soft loan. The contract includes the manufacture and supply of 800 air-conditioned vehicles, including 500 third-class air-conditioned vehicles, a new service offered to passengers for the first time in Egyptian railways history.

The new Russian vehicles will work entirely on the main lines in Lower and Upper Egypt, as they will replace some of the distinctive train cars currently operating and are planned to be transferred to operate on the sub-lines between governorates.