Three months after announcing a state of emergency, Morocco has accelerated plans to leave lockdown and take the first steps towards reviving the economy. The lockdown is estimated to have cost Morocco around 91 million euros a day.
Moroccan government ordered the closure of restaurants, cafés, theaters, and cinemas nationwide on Monday, March 16, in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. The order went into effect on Monday at 18:00 (local time), and also affects gyms and hammams. Markets, grocery stores, and restaurants that operate delivery service are not affected.
Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs previously announced on Sunday, March 15, that all international passenger flights to and from the country were suspended.
As of Tuesday, March 17, there are 37 COVID-19 cases in Morocco, including one death. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
Authorities announced on Saturday, April 18, that the nationwide lockdown measures currently in place will be extended until Wednesday, May 20, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
An initial month-long lockdown came into effect on Friday, March 20, with measures in place to restrict movement domestically. All nonessential movement is prohibited, with residents only allowed to leave their homes to shop for food and medicine, or to go to work with the required permits issued by authorities. The suspension of intercity transportation was implemented on Saturday, March 21, with exceptions for those traveling for health and professional needs. The government also called for the closure of nonessential shops and entertainment venues including restaurants, cafés, theaters, and cinemas nationwide as of Monday, March 16. Schools and mosques are also closed. All international passenger flights to and from the country have been suspended since Sunday, March 15.
Further, on Tuesday, April 7, the government enforced the mandatory use of face masks in the public space, with those who fail to do so at risk of being fined or jailed.
To date, there are 2685 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Morocco, including 137 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected globally in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Filed by Ohene Anochie.