A volunteer carries food to tables as people wait to eat their Iftar meal to break their fast at charity tables that offer free food during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt’s endowments ministry said on Saturday that public charity iftar tables, which offer free meals for breaking the fast during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, will not be permitted this year to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The ministry stressed that it will not allow the setup of tables around its mosques and their attached buildings this Ramadan.
“We urge good people, charitable committees, associations, and bodies that are into the habit of holding iftar tables during the holy month to give their charity out in the form of cash or food commodities to the poor and needy before Ramadan," the ministry said.
The ministry also stressed that its committees will only accept charity in the form of visa payments owing to coronavirus concerns.
“This early warning aims to prevent those who used to set up charity iftar tables in previous years from raising money for this purpose.”
Ramadan is expected to begin this year on 23 April.
Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church said on Thursday that it will further extend the suspension of prayers and activities in its churches, including Holy Week prayers, until the coronavirus epidemic is contained.
On 11 March, Egypt suspended mass prayers at mosques in an unprecedented move aimed at curbing the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country.
The Coptic Orthodox Church suspended services on the same day.
Egypt reported on Saturday 85 new cases and five deaths, bringing the country’s total number of confirmed cases up to 1070 cases, while the death toll stands at 71.