Egypt's Ministry of Endowment said on Monday that it has decided to cancel Hajj (greater pilgrimage) trips that it usually grants its ideal employees every year and redirect the funds to assist Egyptians affected by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The ministry called on people who intend to perform the voluntary Hajj or Omrah lesser pilgrimage this year to instead help those who are needy and are negatively affected by the consequences of the outbreak.
Muslims have a religious duty to perform the Hajj at least once in their life provided that they have the means to do so. Accordingly, performing the Hajj more than once is not obligatory and is thus called voluntary Hajj.
Endowment Minister Mohamed Mohkhtar Gomaa also allocated EGP 50 million to support the vulnerable, especially those with irregular employment who have lost their jobs during the current conditions.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia suspended the Omrah to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Egypt has so far registered 327 coronavirus cases, including 14 fatalities.