Egypt's sports ministry suspended all sports activities around the country on Tuesday, part of a series of moves to contain the threat of the new coronavirus in the country.
On Monday, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly issued a decree banning large public gatherings until further notice.
"The ministry decided to suspend all sports activities, taking into consideration not harming our international commitments. The decision comes in coordination with all the international sports organisations, the Egyptian Olympic Committee and all the Egyptian sports federations," read a statement on the sports ministry's official website.
"All the sports and youth events with large public gatherings are suspended amid coordination with the health ministry to sterilise all the training places," the statement added.
According to the Egyptian Football Association, domestic football competitions will continue but will be played behind closed doors.
Spain, Italy and other countries worldwide have also decided to hold football matches behind closed doors amid the outbreak of the virus disease.
Egypt’s culture ministry on Tuesday that it would be halting all its public events in the wake of the prime minister’s decision.
The virus, which emerged in China's Wuhan late last year, has so far killed over 4,000 people and infected more than 115,000 others. Most of the cases have so far been in China, but recent weeks have seen major new clusters develop in South Korea, Iran and Italy, as well as other countries.
In Egypt, the virus has infected 59 people and killed a German tourist, according to the health ministry.
The government has been taking a number of preventive measures in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.
It has raised the alert level in hospitals, airports, and land ports, and has suspended flights to many countries that have reported major outbreaks.
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