Morocco intensifies clampdown against Covid-19
Morocco has reported 5 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of Covid-19 casualties to 54 with 1 fatality.
Most cases of the novel coronavirus in Morocco have been from international travellers, but recent cases include those of internal transmission.
Moroccan authorities have clamped down further on recent restrictions, forcing citizens to stay indoors by Morocco's auxiliary forces, which have been monitoring residential areas through reminders via megaphones, as seen on Moroccan news outlet Alash TV.
Although the Moroccan government has not yet declared a state of emergency, urgent measures such as closing schools, malls and popular tourist destinations such as the markets in Marrakesh, have come into full force, by government authorities. Citizens may only enter public places to visit the pharmacy, go to work or to receive medical care.
Preventative measures for correctional facilities have also been taken, as the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) announced that visitors for detainees may only visit detainees twice a month, with a 15-day interlude. Furthermore, family members may only visit one detainee at a time. A move welcomed by the families of detainees in correctional facilities, as stated in the (DGAPR) press release to the media.
A joint press release on the 16th March, from both the ministry of labour and the ministry of industry, issued new rules to ensure hygiene, which includes the prohibition of mass gatherings of more than 50 people. In addition, mosques, hammams, gyms, entertainment venues, sports grounds and restaurants have been ordered to close of immediate effect.
Shops in Morocco have shut down, including the largest mall in northern Africa; Morocco Mall. This decision was issued after the Moroccan ministry of health ordered citizens to self-isolate for public safety.
Morocco has currently equipped 44 hospitals with the equipment necessary to handle the treatment of Covid-19 casualties, which includes 1640 beds for intensive care, as well as 250 beds prepared for quarantined members of the public.
The Moroccan minister of health stated, “If we all collaborate, we will be able to control the spread of the virus,” as reported by Morocco World News. The ministry has provided a government contact service for information about coronavirus, called Allo Yakada, which currently receives more than 2000 calls per day.