Covid-19: Hammam Owners Protest against the Ministry of Health

The National Federation of Associations of Owners and Managers of Traditional Hammams and Showers in Morocco says it is deeply surprised by the statement of the Ministry of Health.

Indeed, the department of Khalid Aid Taleb recently announced that Hammams are places ideal for the transmission of the Coronavirus because they are closed spaces, which lack proper ventilation and do not respect physical distance. For all these reasons, the Ministry of Health has therefore considered that Hammams may prove to be probable outbreaks of contamination. The said Federation responds to this in a press release of which has been copied by The Moroccan press.

“The declaration of the Ministry of Health came in addition to the suffering experienced by the owners of the Hammams. After having been closed for 4 months, the Hammams were ordered to comply with some administrative measures.

Moreover, the permission to allow the resumption of activities in certain sectors, including that of the Moorish baths, was accompanied by conditions that were almost impossible to meet,” it reads.

However, some establishments have reopened despite these imposed conditions and despite the financial difficulties suffered by the owners. Difficulties related to loans taken out, employee salaries, rent, maintenance costs, and water and electricity bills.

In addition, the press release states, the institutions are suffering from damage caused by the weather, which also requires expenses to repair it. “All this in the absence of the intervention of the State and that of its assistance to the owners of Hammams so that they can cope with the repercussions of the pandemic,” it was deplored.

Consequently, the National Federation of Associations of Owners and Managers of Traditional Hammams and Showers in Morocco is rebelling against the Ministry of Health which has ruined several hopes, without even relying on proven data and a reliable scientific study.

This has particularly affected “the intangible cultural heritage that is the Hammam”. Considering that no confirmed case of covid-19 has been recorded in a Moorish bathhouse anywhere in the Kingdom. Still, the place has become a destination that inspires fear and anxiety, according to the above-mentioned statement.

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