Egypt on Saturday ordered mosques and churches to shut their doors to worshippers in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, after calls for the government to follow steps taken by neighbouring countries.
The country reported nine new coronavirus cases and two fatalities on Saturday, the health ministry said in a statement, bringing the totals to 294 confirmed infections and 10 deaths.
The Ministry of Islamic Endowments said it would shut all mosques for two weeks "for the necessity of preserving souls", but will allow them to broadcast prayer calls through loudspeakers.
In another statement, the ministry stressed that mosques will not open during the closure even for funeral prayers, adding such sermons should be done in open areas.
Egypt has more than 100,000 mosques.