Egyptian clown Ahmed Naser, is seen with children after making an entertainment performance to courage them to put on face masks as a preventive measure amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Darb Al-Ban district at Islamic Cairo, Egypt April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
CAIRO (Reuters) – Wearing white face paint, stripy top and bright red spectacle frames, Ahmed Naser stands in a street in Cairo distributing face masks and health advice to passing children.
The 22-year-old engineering student has been entertaining youngsters with his mime act for years, but coronavirus restrictions have shut down regular performances.
So he has been heading out onto the street corners, where children have been gathering since the pandemic shut their schools.
“I went out today to make the children aware of the danger of the coronavirus,” he said in the capital’s al-Qalaa neighbourhood.
He wears his outfit to get people gathering around. But the performance stops there. Instead of miming and clowning, he speaks clearly, telling his young audience about the importance of washing their hands.
Earlier this month, he was out talking to children playing football in the streets around Bab al-Futuh, near Cairo’s old city walls.
“The goal was to reach children without Facebook accounts or access to the proper information,” Naser said.
Egypt has reported 2,505 coronavirus cases and 183 deaths, as of late Wednesday.
The Arab world’s most populous country has enforced a nightly curfew, banned large public gatherings and closed schools and universities.
Reporting by Mohamed Abd El-Ghany, writing by Mahmoud Mourad, editing by Aidan Lewis and Andrew Heavens