The Moroccan government Council, held Thursday in Rabat, has decided to extend the state of health emergency, that was scheduled to expire Saturday, November 10, until December 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 Saturday, November 10 at 6 p.m. to Thursday, December 10 at 6 p.m.
The state of health emergency enable the government to make swift, necessary decisions to curb the spread of COVID-19.
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.
This is the eighth time that Morocco has extended the state of health emergency since the measure was first adopted on March 19.
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 as Morocco witnesses a record daily increase in COVID-19 cases. The country has been lately confirming over 3,000 new COVID-19 cases every day.
On November 4, Morocco registered a daily record of infections of 5745 new cases bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 235,310. A record number of deaths was also recorded the same day with 82 new fatalities.
The head of the Moroccan government Saad Eddine El Othmani warned on November 3 that a return to full lockdown is possible if the COVID-19 situation in Morocco gets “out of control.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of the Interior Abdelouafi Laftit on Wednesday condemned some citizens’ disregard for preventive measures, particularly in the Casablanca-Settat region, which regularly records the highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths.