Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccans Residing Abroad (MREs) covered the burial fees for the deceased Moroccans in Italy.
Rabat – Morocco’s ambassador to Italy Youssef Bella announced that 23 Moroccans residing in Italy died from COVID-19, adding that the deceased have all been buried in accordance with Islamic rituals.
In a statement to Maghreb Arab Press, Bella added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccans Residing Abroad (MREs) covered the burial fees for the late Moroccans.
“The ministry responded favorably to all requests from needy families to pay for their relatives’ burials in the Islamic cemeteries,” the ambassador said.
“The direct contacts established with the families of the deceased were an opportunity to convey sincere condolences to them.”
Regarding the diplomatic and consular aspects, Bella said the Italian central and local authorities have maintained discussions concerning local laws restricting the possibility of burial in Islamic cemeteries.
The ambassador said a new cemetery has opened in the Verona region. Thanks to the Italian authorities’ cooperation, it is possible to bury deceased non-residents in the cemeteries of Milan and Rome, he added.
Bella said the embassy and general consulates are in permanent contact with Moroccans stranded in Italy amid flight suspensions and border closures to learn about their situation.
The Moroccan embassy in Rome, in particular, has taken measures to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Moroccan community in Italy.
The embassy strengthened its communication, setting up a central unit at the embassy as well as communication units at the general consulates to respond to requests from the Moroccan community.
Moroccans stranded in Italy are numbered at 113, according to the ambassador.
Italy is the second hardest-hit country in Europe after Spain. The country registered 3,599 new cases of COVID-19 on April 6, bringing the total to 132,547. Recoveries rose to 22,837 while the death toll stands at 16,523.