Egypt's central bank places limits on cash withdrawals

Customers told to avoid paper money and adopt electronic transfers in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus

The headquarters of Egypt's Central Bank are seen in downtown Cairo, Egypt January 11, 2018. Picture taken January 11, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
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Egypt's central bank on Sunday said it had instructed banks to put temporary limits on daily withdrawals and deposits amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The daily limit for individuals will be 10,000 Egyptian pounds (Dh2,328/US$640) and 50,000 pounds for companies.

However, companies would be exempted if the money is to be used to pay employees.

The central bank also limited daily ATM withdrawals and deposits to 5,000 pounds.

It urged people to limit the use of paper money and to rely on electronic transfers and e-payments.

"All banks cancelled fees on transfers and e-payment methods for the citizens' convenience," the central bank said.

Egypt reported 40 new coronavirus cases and six fatalities on Saturday, bringing the number of confirmed infections to 576 and deaths to 36.

The North African country ordered mosques to shut their doors to worshippers for two weeks on March 21.

The Ministry of Islamic Endowments said on Sunday it would extend the closure indefinitely.