Mauritania has banned mosque prayers over the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha set for Wednesday due to concerns of surge in Covid-19 infections.
The government in the conservative Muslim country said in a statement that prayers will be confined to the home.
The start of a midnight-to-dawn curfew has been brought forward to 10 pm, while masks are mandatory and large gatherings are banned.
Like many African countries, the mostly desert country has suffered little during the coronavirus pandemic, but officials recorded a rapid rise in case numbers this week.
The official caseload stood at 22,508 on July 17, an increase of nearly 1,000 over the previous week.
Overall, the country of 4.5 million people has recorded 508 deaths.
Families typically gather to sacrifice an animal for Eid, and may travel long distances in crowded cars and buses for the occasion, posing a potential risk of spreading the virus.