The Moroccan government Council, held Wednesday in Rabat, has decided to extend the state of health emergency until October 10, 2020, as part of efforts aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Council adopted the draft decree extending the state of health emergency throughout the national territory from Thursday, September 10 at 6 p.m. to Saturday, October 10 at 6 p.m.
The extension was decided as the current situation requires keeping the appropriate measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, while ensuring that the measures taken at the level of each region, prefecture or province, are adequate with the evolution of the epidemiological situation.
Since it was first declared on March 19 in Morocco, the state of health emergency was extended five times over the course of six months. Wednesday’s extension is the sixth of its kind.
The state of emergency, which is not synonymous with lockdown, is a legal framework that allows the Moroccan government to take promptly exceptional measures against COVID-19. The measures include lockdowns on neighborhoods or cities, bans on travel, the closing of gathering places, and the deployment of military troops in cities.
The extension comes a few days after Morocco witnessed a record daily increase in COVID-19 cases. On September 6, the Ministry of Health announced 2,234 new coronavirus infections, a record number since the first case was confirmed in the country on March 2.
The country has been regularly confirming over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases every day for several weeks.
As of September 8 at 6 p.m., Morocco has confirmed a total of 75,721 COVID-19 cases, the third-highest number in Africa and the 42nd worldwide. The figure includes 57,239 recoveries, 1,427 deaths, and 17,055 active cases.