COVID-19: Morocco extends state of health emergency until January 10, 2021

COVID-19: Morocco extends state of health emergency until January 10, 2021

The Moroccan government Council, held this Thursday in Rabat, has decided to extend the state of health emergency, that was scheduled to expire on Thursday December 10, until January 10, 2021, 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, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. to Sunday, January 10 at 6 p.m.

The state of health emergency enables 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 ninth time that Morocco is extending 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 is still witnessing a record daily increase in COVID-19 cases, with the confirmation over the past weeks of more than 3,000 new  cases every day.

On December 2, the number of COVID-19 cases stood at 364,190, including 5,985 deaths and 314, 247 recoveries.

The number of active cases remains high, standing at 43,968.

The health emergency extension comes as Morocco is poised to launch a large-scale vaccination campaign after it secured COVID-19 vaccines from international companies, including from China’s Sinopharm.

Morocco will also hold talks with Russia to secure doses of the Sputnik-V vaccine.

The government also launched a campaign to counter fake news about COVID-19 and the vaccine.

The campaign seeks to inform public opinion and prevent the spread of misinformation and disinformation on social networks.

 

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