Egypt lifts two-year ban on Ramadan charity banquets

Ahram Online , Sunday 27 Mar 2022

Egypt lifted on Sunday a ban on Ramadan charity banquets, ending a two-year suspension on the popular tradition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A file photo of Ramadan charity banquet in Cairo

Ramadan charity banquets are organised publicly in the streets by the well-to-do to provide free Iftar meals for millions of poor people during the holy month, which starts in Egypt this year on 2 April.

According to Cabinet Spokesperson Nader Saad, the High Committee to Manage Pandemics and Endemics, headed by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, also lifted a number of restrictions on mosques during Ramadan.

Mosques will now be allowed to open their annex event halls and conduct the afternoon prayer sermons (Al-Asr) and mass Ramadan night prayers (Taraweeh) sermon during the holy month.

Ramadan late-night prayers (Tahajjud) and seclusion in mosques for a period of time in Ramadan (Itikaf) will still be prohibited.

The new decisions issued by the committee stipulate that shops, restaurants and cafes are allowed to remain open till 2am, according to Saad.

The committee also allowed weddings and celebrations at indoor halls in hotels starting April as long as they follow precautionary measures against coronavirus.

During the meeting of the committee, Acting Health Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar emphasised that COVID-19 related fatalities have declined in the country over the past five weeks.

The number of isolation hospitals also declined from 17 to seven, due to the decline in the number of cases admitted for treatment, he added.

He also revealed that Egypt has administrated 76.5 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, adding that 32 million people have been fully vaccinated nationwide. 

The Ministry of Health has also administrated about 2 million booster coronavirus doses.

Abdel-Ghaffar also stated there are enough vaccine doses to vaccinate nearly 40 million citizens.

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