Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Morocco: Virus Update

Morocco’s Ministry of Health confirmed five new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Wednesday, March 18, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Morocco to 49.  All new patients arrived in Morocco from foreign locations, including two French nationals who are now isolated at a hospital in Agadir to receive medical care

Health authorities detected the new cases in Tangier (2 cases), Oujda, Rabat, Settat, and Guelmim (one case each). The Pasteur Institute in Casablanca and the National Health Institute in Rabat confirmed the diagnoses after medical testing.

All the new patients are currently in quarantine in local hospitals, assures the ministry.

Morocco has recorded 49 cases of the virus, including two deaths and one full recovery. The two victims were an 89-year-old woman from Casablanca with preexisting health conditions and a 75-year-old man from Sale, near Rabat.

Morocco detected its first COVID-19 case on March 2 in Casablanca. Since then, authorities have escalated their preventive measures to control the spread of the epidemic.

 Members of the government donating a month’s salary

Moroccan parliamentarians and members of the government announced today, March 17, their contributions to King Mohammed VI’s Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19.

In order to accelerate the operation of the fund and the provision of the necessary resources, members of the government will be donating a month’s salary to the initiative, a press release from the Department of the Head of Government reported.

The donations illustrate the government members’ commitment to fighting the coronavirus epidemic and its impacts, the statement added.

Meanwhile, members of the two houses of Parliament announced that they have donated their month-long allocations to the Special Fund.

“On the initiative of the leaders of groups and groupings and in coordination with the presidents of the two Chambers, Habib El Malki and Hakim Benchamach, the offices of the two institutions decided to commit themselves in favour of national mobilisation to fight against the risks and the fallout from the Covid-19,” a statement from the Parliament declared.

The statement added that the parliamentarians are inspired by the values ​​of solidarity and mutual aid that have always founded Moroccan society.

“In addition to this contribution, the parliament undertakes, in the name of national duty, to support developments that arise in connection with the health situation,” continued the Parliament’s statement.

King Mohammed VI ordered the creation of the Special Fund, initially worth over $1 billion, on March 15 to mitigate the social and economic effects of COVID-19. Since then, Moroccan institutions and cooperations have stepped with contributions, racking up an additional $1 billion.

Morocco’s OCP Group granted $310 million to the Fund, vowing to mobilise its human and financial capabilities to assist the government’s efforts to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

Afriquia Gas contributed $103.5 million, while the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) donated $113.9 million.

Bank of Africa, owned by Moroccan billionaire Othman Benjelloun, decided to allocate its profit from the first quarter of 2020 as a contribution to the special fund.

Government members such as Minister of Industry Hafid Elalamy and Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch have each contributed millions of dollars.

Meanwhile, the 22 heads of Morocco’s public and private universities also announced their donation of one month’s salary to the benefit of the Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19. All officials, general managers, and managers in the energy, minerals, and environment sectors have decided to contribute to the fund.


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