COVID-19: MOSQUES REOPEN IN WEST AFRICA

It’s been a Ramadan unlike any other for Abdourahmane Sall, far from the mosque during the Muslim holy month as coronavirus cases mount. With only a little over a week left, he decided joining thousands of others in tradition was worth the risk after authorities allowed prayers to resume.

Men formed orderly lines outside the Massalikul Jinaan mosque in Dakar as they waited to receive hand sanitizer before entering while uniformed police watched on nearby. Inside, some 2,000 men set their prayer mats 1.5 meters apart while 3,000 others spread out into the courtyard of West Africa’s largest mosque.

“We are being careful but to be honest we cannot escape the virus,” said Sall, a 58-year-old tailor in a flowing orange tunic and face mask made of thick fabric. “If we abide by the precautions that health officials tell us, then God will protect us.”

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