Throng of worshippers in an al Bab city mosque in Aleppo suburbs amid the spread of COVID-19

Photo shared online on April 15, 2021, shows the compound of the Abu Bakr al Seddiq Mosque in al Bab city center in the eastern suburbs of Aleppo governorate, with the civilian worshippers crowded together to pray al Tarawih (nighttime prayers during Ramadan) without observing any social distancing, and ignoring the importance of wearing protective facemasks, which violates all the precautionary measures introduced to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic among the public.

SNHR notes that the number of cases of COVID-19 infection in northwest Syria is continuing to increase, currently standing at 21,592 in total, including 638 deaths, according to the latest statement issued by the epidemiological surveillance laboratory of the Early Warning, Alert and Response Network (EWARN) on April 14, 2021.

We affirm that the responsibility for raising awareness and ensuring compliance with these essential health measures lies with the local council and the governing forces and the controlling parties. Accordingly, the Syrian Islamic council and National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, in coordination with all its apparatuses and bodies, must take serious action in regard to this issue, by promoting and encouraging the wearing of masks and the idea of physical and social distancing, and by issuing bulletins and publishing regular  data on the latest figures, as well as following up on the implementation of these measures in order to safeguard all members of society and minimize the risk of infection and death.