File photo: People attend Friday prayers at Al Azhar mosque in the old city of Cairo (Reuters)
Egypt's religious endowments ministry said that "Tarawih", special evening prayers that are performed during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, will be suspended this year in line with other congregational prayers as the country tries to stem the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
"What is applicable to the Tarawih Prayers applies to all other mass prayers … as gatherings, generally speaking, is a source of virus transmission," the endowments ministry said in a statement on Friday.
"Reopening the mosques is linked to registering zero coronavirus cases across the nation and until the health ministry certifies that gatherings would no longer pose a threat to public health," the statement read
Ramadan is expected to begin this year on 23 April.
The ministry said earlier this week that charity iftar tables, which offer free meals for breaking the fast during Ramadan, and all congregational religious activities will not be permitted this year to curb the spread of coronavirus.
On 11 March, Egypt suspended all mass prayers at mosques in an unprecedented move. The Coptic Orthodox Church suspended services on the same day.
Egypt has announced 1,699 positive coronavirus cases so far, of whom 118 have died.