Morocco’s Head of Government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, has asked Moroccans to stay home and avoid travel during the religious Mawlid celebration.
“I am begging you to stay home,” El Othmani said during a televised interview with 2M.
The head of government made the statement on Tuesday, the eve of the Mawlid celebration. Many Muslims around the world are observing Mawlid today, October 29, in remembrance of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.
El Othmani stressed that avoiding travel between Moroccan cities is an important preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19.
The senior official’s worries are understandable since the Mawlid celebration, which usually represents an occasion for families to gather, coincides with a week-long school break.
El Othmani’s statement seems to be an attempt to avoid repeating the mistakes of Morocco’s Eid al-Adha celebration in late July.
The religious ceremony, known as Eid al-Kabir (The Large Feast) in Morocco, represented a turning point in the country’s epidemiological situation.
Due to the movement of Moroccans between cities and their negligence of safety measures during the celebration, Morocco’s daily COVID-19 case count exceeded 1,000 for the first time ever.
On July 30, the day before Eid al-Adha, Morocco recorded 1,046 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours.
Now that the country regularly records over 3,500 COVID-19 cases per day, the risk of spreading the pandemic is even greater.
“We all miss our families and loved ones, but please think about their safety,” El Othmani said on Wednesday, echoing similar calls he made before Eid al-Adha.