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.”
The World Health Organization has warned that as many as 190,000 Africans could die from the coronavirus in the first year of the pandemic, and countless more from other diseases as the continent’s limited medical resources are stretched even further.