Cairo, Egypt (CNN) — Egyptian pharmacies will sell all forms of medicine starting Monday.
The move comes amid a widespread government crackdown on the country’s once-mighty pharmaceutical industry.
The announcement by the Health Ministry, announced on Sunday, will mean that pharmacies will have to make up the difference in their operating costs between the new policy and a policy that allows them to sell as much as they want for as long as they wish.
A total of 1,200 pharmacies will open to the public on Monday, a ministry spokesman told CNN.
The change comes as the government is trying to quell a rising death toll and crackdown on drug smuggling that has led to the countrys worst outbreak of a coronavirus since the pandemic of 2003-2004.
There were more than 2,000 deaths in Egypt from coronaviruses in October alone.
More than 100,000 people have died since the start of the pandemics, according to government figures.
The death toll has continued to climb in recent months.
A Reuters analysis of coronaviral deaths in 15 countries in 2016 found that coronavirauses were responsible for more than half of all the deaths.
The pandemias also have pushed up the cost of drugs, with the death toll from coronovirus soaring in some cases to more than 40 percent of the country s healthcare budget.
The health ministry said the new policies will allow pharmacies to offer new medicines at a lower price than they could previously.
The ministry said there will be no new prices for prescription drugs.
The new policies are aimed at lowering prices and improving access to medicines in the country where the virus has killed more than 20,000.
The announcement came after the country was hit by an outbreak of the coronavirence and an emergency curfew was imposed in several cities, including Cairo.
The government has imposed new measures to fight the epidemic.
In a statement, it said the government will not accept any new prices higher than that that would allow it to sustain the economic burden of the epidemic, including health care costs.
The measures, however, did not address the issue of what would happen if the emergency curfew is lifted, which has been in place since January.
The crackdown has been met with criticism from medical experts and some health experts say it has left people without access to medicine and has left some pharmacies without enough supplies to meet demand.