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Rabat – As Ramadan approaches many in Morocco have expressed their concern over the possibility of renewed confinement.
In 2020, as COVID-19 emerged in Morocco, the country saw intensified lockdown measures to avoid the spread of the virus as typically, people meet family and friends upon breaking the fast.
A Moroccan virologist, Mustapha Ennaji, speaking to Les ECO, believes that a temporary lockdown is largely dependent on a variety of criteria. He noted that the country could return to confinement during Ramadan if Morocco sees a significant increase in the case number.
“Containment is not excluded if the epidemiological situation relapses,” Ennaji noted.
Even when reassuring the local population, citing the stable situation of the North African country, Ennaji warns that the virus is unpredictable and can bring about troublesome surprises.
Speaking at the House of Councilors in November 2020, the Moroccan Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani was open to the possibility of returning to full lockdown, dependent on the COVID-19 situation in the country. El Othmani recognized that no one wants to return to a complete lockdown given the social, economic, and psychological impacts.
Meanwhile, the president of the local Scientific Council of the Skhirat-Temara prefecture reminded that the decision whether “Tarawih” prayers at mosques during Ramadan will be allowed or not, is wholly dependent on the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs.
When the ministry reopened mosques in Morocco last October, it did so gradually. The ministry was cautious of the exceptional circumstances in the country, especially in the context of newly emerging COVID-19 strains.
The outlook remains positive, as cases continue to decrease, and the national vaccination campaign continues to run smoothly. Health authorities in Morocco have given 3,961,941 Moroccan citizens and residents the first vaccine dose against COVID-19, as of March 8.
This year, Ramadan in Morocco will begin on the evening of Monday, April 12, and is set to end on the evening of Wednesday, May 12.