US Grants Morocco $670,000 to cushion coronavirus blow

The United States government has granted Morocco $670,000 (6.6 millionDH) to respond to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), announced the US embassy in Rabat.


The funds are provided by the Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infections Diseases at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), said the embassy in a statement.


USAID is directing the funds to the World Health Organization (WHO) under the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP). The plan should serve to stop further proliferation of the pandemic in affected and at-risk states to help reduce impacts, the statement said.


US Ambassador to Morocco David Fischer commented on the aid, saying, “With longstanding partners like Morocco, we are working together to improve global capacity to contain outbreaks at their source and minimize their impact.”


The ambassador said the investments, along with the US-Morocco partnership, are “critical” to prepare for emerging threats, including the novel coronavirus crisis, in an effective and rapid manner.


The ambassador emphasized his country’s full support and determination to help Morocco and other US partners to prepare their laboratories for “large-scale testing” for the virus.


The US administration will also help Morocco to “implement a public-health emergency plan for points of entry, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance for influenza-like illnesses, train and equip rapid-response teams, investigate cases and trace the contacts of infected persons, and adapt training materials for health workers on COVID-19,” the statement added.

Morocco has confirmed 50 new coronavirus cases as of this Thursday at 6 p.m. bringing the total number of infections to 275. Ten patients have died because of infection, while eight patients have recovered. Casablanca topped the list of Moroccan cities with the highest number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. It is followed by Meknes, Marrakech, Rabat, fez and Tangiers.


The US has confirmed 75,665 cases, including 1,100 fatalities.


The total number of confirmed cases worldwide reached 510,645 this Thursday and fatalities exceeded 23,000.

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