3 June 2020

Egypt to ban Ramadan gatherings to counter coronavirus

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Egypt will ban any public religious gatherings during the holy Muslim fasting month Ramadan starting in around two weeks to counter the spread of the new coronavirus, a government statement said on Tuesday. reports citing foreign media.

Muslims usually break the fast at sunset together with their families, go to the mosque to pray and spend maximum time with relatives.

Despite the government order, people should still fast as this ritual had no link to the coronavirus, said a committee of scholars at Cairo’s al-Azhar university, Egypt’s highest religious authority and one of the world’s most eminent seats of Sunni Muslim learning.

Only the usual exemptions apply, it said in a statement. Travel or sickness are reasons not to fast.

But with health experts recommending social-distancing measures during the global coronavirus crisis, Egypt will ban any gatherings and public iftars - fast-breaking meals - as well as collective social activities, the ministry of Islamic endowments said in a separate statement.

Typically, mass iftars are held for poor people.

2020.04.08 / 09:19
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