The world has surpassed 2 million confirmed cases of COVID19, and now More than 3 billion people are in some sort of lockdown.
Some countries are hit harder than others, and the whole world is working hard to find a medical solution
Coronavirus In Morocco
The 1st confirmed case of coronavirus in Morocco dates back to March 2nd, 2020, It involved a Moroccan Expatriate who resides in Italy and who came to Casablanca on February 27, 2020.
People in Morocco, and like many people in many other countries were making jokes about the epidemic and did not take it seriously, and everyone thought that it's a matter that is going to get over with soon before things get worse.
When the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, things have changed dramatically in Morocco.
Following up on that Morocco put into effect some strict preventive measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Early preventive measures
March 2nd, the first day COVID-19 arrived in Morocco, the Moroccan government banned exporting essential medical equipment out of Morocco. And fixed the price of hand sanitizers and some other essential products.
On the same day, large-scale events were called off even those organized in the coming months.
On March the 8th, Morocco banned flights to and from parts of Italy as concerns for that country grows.
March 14th Morocco suspends flights to many countries worldwide, which were considered hot spots for the virus.
March 16th the government ordered to shut down schools, gyms, spas, cafes, bars, restaurants and all sports events as a protective measure against the spread of coronavirus.
On the same day the foreign ministry suspended all international flights to and from Morocco's airports, which made the whole country totally isolated from the rest of the world.
State Of Health Emergency In Morocco
On March 20th Morocco's interior ministry declared a state of health emergency, the whole country will be on enforced lockdown which will stay in place until April 20th.
After that All Moroccan TVs and many social media influencers launched huge awareness campaigns to boost public awareness on this pandemic.
People can only go out of their houses for essential needs and essential jobs.
Here are some of the reasons people are allowed to go out in Morocco during the state of health emergency:
- Going to the supermarket (alone).
- Going to other essential businesses such as the pharmacy, bank, post office, etc. (alone).
- Going to a job (that you have to go to, and can’t do at home).
Every one needs to fill a standardized paperwork that justifies why they need to go outside.
Police can stop anyone in the streets and ask them to justify why they are outside, and anyone without that special permit “paperwork” and without a serious reason to be outside can be in serious trouble.
The government enforced a curfew after 6:00 p.m, no one can go outside even with that special permit “paper form”.
COVID-19 tests in Morocco
As for now there are only 3 laboratories that are authorized to conduct COVID-19 tests in Morocco, and they are as follows:
- "L’Institut d’hygiène" in Rabat.
- L’Institut Pasteur du Maroc" in Casablanca.
- "Le laboratoire de l’Hôpital d’instruction militaire Mohammed V" in Rabat.
Private labs are not yet authorized to conduct COVID19 tests in Morocco.
So until this moment private testing is not yet available in Morocco.
What to do if you think you have COVID19 symptoms
There are two provided numbers that you can call if you think you’re experiencing COVID19 symptoms.
Call: 080 100 47 47
Anyone can call the provided numbers or visit the specialized units in their region to ask for a test.
Only suspected cases are eligible to take tests.
So you will be asked some questions to make sure that the symptoms you’re experiencing are of COVID19 or of something else.
Have you been in contact with someone that is COVID-19 positive.
Have you been abroad recently, if yes what country you were in.
If they think that you’re eligible to take a test they will ask you to come to the COVID19 unit in your region to take a coronavirus test, Or they will send an ambulance to bring to you to the hospital in case you weren’t able to do so.
Once you take the test and as a measure of protection you will be kept in the hospital until the results come out.
If the test comes out negative you will be asked to go home and isolate at least for 14 days and see if you will have any more symptoms.
If the test comes out positive god forbid, the COVID-19 unit in your region will take care of you.
There are orders from the highest level in Morocco to provide the best care and the best service to COVID19 patients.
Government financial support
Because of the state of health emergency millions of Moroccans have lost their jobs.
As a solution for this matter and to help the Moroccan citizen get through this crisis, the government promised to provide financial support for those who lost their monthly income and also for those in need.
The people who lost their monthly income will get 2000dh per month until this crisis ends.
The government will also support those in need during this time of the crisis.
800dh per month for families that consist of 1 or 2 members
1000dh per month for families that consist of 3 members
1200dh per month for families that consist of 4 and more members
The king of Morocco has ordered to create a fund to manage the Coronavirus pandemic and its effects.
The king donated 200 million dollars to the fund, and many other government figures and wealthy people of Morocco have followed suit.
Traveling within Morocco
There is no way possible to travel within Morocco currently.
Domestic flights were suspended, trains and intercity buses stopped operating which made it almost impossible to move out of the area you are in.
When can you travel to Morocco again?
Nobody knows the answer to this, the situation seems to be under control in Morocco, but no one knows when things will improve, flights will resume, and life will go back to normal. Hopefully by the summer but no one can really tell.
As a Moroccan citizen I can say that the Moroccan government responded very quickly and at the right time and prevented an exponential growth in the number of COVID19 cases in Morocco.
Compared to what is happening currently in many first world countries; Morocco is doing impressively well.