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Monday, September 7, 2020

Morocco locks down Casablanca, shuts schools over Covid-19

 

Morocco imposed a lockdown on Casablanca and shut its schools Monday , the day they were supposed to reopen after summer , in a bid to stop the spread of Covid- 19.


The new measures , which include restrictions on movement and a night-time curfew, would be in place for two weeks in the commercial capital , the authorities said a statement issued late Sunday.


“ We risk being overwhelmed by the virus , ” said Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb .


“ Therefore , drastic measures are required , otherwise the situation may get out of control in the coming days, ” the official MAP news agency quoted him as saying .


The country has seen a spike in coronavirus cases in recent weeks . It recorded 2, 234 new infections on Sunday, a record for a single day, with 42 percent of them in Casablanca.


The authorities blame the spread of Covid-19 on people’ s failure to adhere to health protocols .


Casablanca, along with Marrakesh , had already been subject a series of restrictions three weeks ago , including beach closures and shortened business hours.


Authorities decided on Monday to close educational institutions including primary, middle , and high schools as well as universities.


That came after epidemiologists voiced concern over the health system ’ s capacity to respond to the crisis , and the additional risks posed by the start of the school year .


All exits to major cities were closed from midday , with travel only allowed with “ exceptional authorisation” issued by local authorities.


Since detecting its first case in early March , Morocco has recorded 72, 394 cases of Covid infection , including 1, 361 deaths.

AFP

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