“The people who lost their lives today did not die because of the coronavirus, they died because of road accidents,” one Moroccan driver said in a now-viral video.
Hours later, Moroccan highways witnessed an unprecedented level of traffic jams and a worrying number of accidents.
Fearing isolation during the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday, which falls on July 31, thousands of Moroccans rushed towards highways in a race to get home before midnight.
Attempting to leave major urban centers, drivers found themselves stuck in the aftermath of what will be remembered as one of the government’s most sudden decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On social media, Moroccans expressed their anger and frustration, sharing photos and videos of the traffic jams and accidents as a result of Morocco’s sudden suspension of travel. Many of the posts compared the congested Moroccan highways to scenes from Hollywood’s apocalyptic movies.
In a lengthy Facebook post, journalist Rachid El Belghiti narrated his misadventure on the road leading to Rabat.
“I was with my family, we had an infant among us… The government almost killed us,” he began his text.
كنت صحبة أسرتي، كان بيننا طفل رضيع.. كادت ان تقتلنا الحكومة.
ذهبنا، ليلة السبت، الى الدار البيضاء كي نترك أطفالنا تحت…
According to El Belghiti, an unusual police roadblock at the entrance of Rabat caused hundreds of cars to brake abruptly, barely dodging each other.
“I was able to stop safely, unlike some other cars. However, 10 seconds later, a young driver came at a reckless speed and hit the back of my car, sending the infant’s seat upside down,” the journalist recalled.
The Facebook post compares the situation on the highway between Casablanca and Rabat to Armageddon.
“The government turned national roads into a place of execution … where innocents are shot with cars like deserters are shot with bullets,” El Belghiti wrote.
“All the injured are victims of a war launched by decision-makers against powerless people,” he continued.
Several videos and photos shared on social media showed road accidents due to the unprecedented traffic jams, as well as cars allegedly burning because of the accidents that ensued after Morocco announced the suspension of travel.
صورة الان 😰ًالله يخد الحق فلي كان سباب 👇
خديتي قرار عالاقل حل بياج للناس من نهار حلينا عينينا فهد بلاد وحنا معدبين بسبابكم
مقطع فيديو يوثق حادثة سير خطيرة بطريق سيار بعد قرار منع السفر من وإلى بعض المدن…
للمزيد من الاخبار زورو موقعنا 👇🏻
Posted by Belpresse on Sunday, 26 July 2020
One of the videos that went viral shares the testimony of a Moroccan woman who spent more than three hours on the road between Casablanca and Mohammedia—a trip that usually takes 30 minutes.
In an emotional speech, accompanied by innumerable car horns, the young Moroccan expresses both her anger and anxiety.
“These decisions taken at the last minute are killing people,” she said while on the verge of tears.
“Are people animals? Does the country, does the government believe their people are insects, taking a decision at 6 p.m. and applying it at midnight?” she deplored.
“Look at the roads, Look! The people who lost their lives today did not die because of the coronavirus, they died because of road accidents,” she said angrily, before ending the video.