Moroccan builders call for Govt. help as Covid-19 hammers construction sector

The Moroccan construction industry and its workforce have launched an urgent appeal to the Government for help after suffering a major loss with the collapse of their activity due to the Coronavirus lockdown.

Following a sharp drop in turnover by up to 75 pc, the National Federation of Builders and Public Works (FNBTP) sent a letter to the Head of the Govt, demanding financial support and a lift of the restrictions imposed on the sector for “the economic and social interests of the country”.

However, some experts say that it is very hard to respect social distancing on construction sites where workers often live together, putting their health at great risk.

The lockdown decided by Moroccan authorities since March 20 to prevent the spread of covid-19 has led to production problems and restrictions on the movement of people and goods, which are causing shortages of materials and workers for the construction industry.

As some coronavirus clusters emerged in some factories, Moroccan authorities ordered the closure of about ten units and urged businesses at large to shoulder their responsibilities and take necessary measures to protect workers from exposure to the virus.

Besides the lockdown rules extended to May 20, Morocco’s response to the coronavirus pandemic includes the payment of stipends up to $120 to those who lost their jobs and deferring taxes & loan installments for SMEs.

Moroccan authorities have made wearing masks mandatory since April 7. Flouters risk prison terms from one to three months and fines of up to $127.

Covid-19 has so far infected 3209 people in Morocco, and killed 145, while 359 others survived.

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