18 dioceses across Egypt will be suspending services during this year’s Holy Week and Easter as part of efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The dioceses enacting these measures are spread across 13 Egyptian cities—Luxor, Giza, Beni Suef, Gharbiya, Fayoum, Aswan, Sohag, Qena, Assiut, Qalioubiya, Port Said, Ismailia, and Suez, according to Al Ahram Online.
The publication reports that attending mass at said dioceses will be prohibited throughout the Holy Week—set to begin on the 25th April and end with Easter Day, which falls on the first of May. Reports also added that one diocese will halt all services, while the other 17 will restrict attendance to priests and deacons.
Other churches across the nation will enact different preventive and precautionary measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, such as capping mass attendance at 25 percent and allowing congregants to reserve their seats in advance.
This comes amid reported spikes in COVID-19 case numbers across the world and a surge in Egypt. According to Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population, the country has recorded 12,653 COVID-19 deaths and has seen the total number of cases climb to 214,639 since the beginning of the outbreak last year.