Covid-19 in Africa: Morocco to reopen more mosques for prayers
Cape Town - The Moroccan Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs announced on Tuesday that it would increase the number of open mosques to 10 000 for Friday prayers and the five daily prayers.
According to the Moroccan News Agency, the ministry said in a statement that the same health precautions taken in the mosques that already host the daily prayers would be taken into account for the Friday prayer.
The evolution of the epidemic at national and local levels would also be taken into account, the ministry said.
In mid-March, Morocco temporarily shut down all mosques for daily and Friday prayers as part of precautionary measures to avert the possible spread of the coronavirus.
Only 5 000 mosques out of over 50 000 across Morocco have been operating since July 15.
According to Morocco World News, the decision to re-open the 5,000 mosques was part of the country’s lockdown easing strategy, and included a set of safety conditions.
Conditions included that worshippers take with them plastic bags to put their shoes in when they are inside the mosque, as well as wearing a mask and bringing their own Quran.
Worshippers must also bring their own prayer mats and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
The ministry said that children under 15, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases should not attend prayers.
According to local media reports, the north African country recorded 3,185 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing its total number of confirmed infections to 156,946.
An additional 49 more citizens succumbed to the virus, taking the total fatalities tally to 2,685.
African News Agency (ANA)