Friday, March 06, 2020

Corona Virus Restrictions in Morocco

An official circular restricts sports and cultural gatherings in Morocco.

This circular addressed to different authorities and administrations prohibits all events “with the participation of people coming from abroad”, including conferences, forums, cultural or sporting events, raids or rallies.

The decision also concerns events with the participation of more than 1,000 people resident on the national territory, if they are scheduled in confined spaces, said the document.

National or international sports meetings are however authorised “provided that they take place behind closed doors” but all cultural festivals are prohibited, with the exception of “moussems”, according to the restrictions decided until the end of March.

As a reminder, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) has already imposed closed doors for all football matches, all competitions and all categories, for “the safety of players, coaches and supporters” from March 4.

The kingdom reported on Thursday a second confirmed case of contamination, an 89-year-old Moroccan woman who arrived from Italy in late February who is in a state “critical of the fact that she suffers from a chronic disease”, as the 'said Thursday the Ministry of Health.

The Moroccan Ministry of Industry and Trade has imposed an export license for medical protective masks. The export of masks is now illegal without special authorisation from the ministry.

The move aims to ensure the availability of a sufficient supply of medical masks in Morocco amid the high international demand for such products due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
A private operator, the Royal Gendarmerie, and the Civil Protection produce the masks in Morocco.

The two officials said that Morocco intends to increase its stock. To do so, the Ministry of Health will purchase all national production of medical masks.

The move comes after authorities interrupted several attempts to smuggle medical masks outside of the country.

On March 1, police arrested a British national at the Agadir International Airport for trying to smuggle 17,000 medical masks to the United Kingdom, where the prices of masks are rising exponentially due to their scarcity. Police discovered that the suspect had a criminal record for similar acts.

Two days later, authorities at the Tangier-Med Port arrested a British truck driver attempting to smuggle 100,000 medical masks, with a value of $3.3 million, to the UK.

The new measure is part of Morocco’s efforts to control the spread of the viral COVID-19. At the time of writing, the country has confirmed two cases of the virus: a man and a woman who separately traveled to Morocco from Italy.


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