Morocco’s response to the covid-19 pandemic
By Brahim Kaddaoui, Mohamed amine Eddaoudi and Ibtissam Alkhatari, students of Gestion et Médiation Sociale, Université Mohammed Premier, Oujda, Morocco
On March 2nd, Morocco declared its first positive test of a Moroccan citizen coming from Italy, who was taken to Moulay Youssef Hospital for treatment.
Eleven days later, the Moroccan government announced suspending all flights and travels to and from Italy and Algeria until further notice.
It didn’t take long before Morocco announced more cases from abroad. The kingdom responded by suspending all flights and international travels and having all borders closed.
As Morocco started to discover local cases, the authorities announced closing all educational institutions, cafes, mosques, stadiums as a first step to reduce gatherings that lead to spreading the virus and therefore new cases.
Health emergency state
On March 19th, The Moroccan Kingdom announced the health emergency state starting from the 20th March 6 pm to be ongoing until further notice. It includes quarantine for all citizens, except for health workers, security forces, the army, bankers, shops, pharmacies, gas stations, telecommunication companies and people with a special authorization.
Leaving the houses or having gatherings, working after 6pm to 6am was no longer tolerated during this health emergency state.
King Mohammed the 6th gave orders to create an account to fund the management of the covid-19 response, donating more than 10 000 000 000dh (approx. 920 million euros). The government announced that it will be funded by the kingdoms budget along with the donations of many institutions, Moroccan businessmen, companies. It only took 12 days before the account reached 22 000 000 000dh (approx. 2 billion euros). It was then opened for all Moroccans inside and outside Morocco to donate for.
Speaking of coming together as a nation, the Moroccan civil society initiated several actions to help poor families, people who were forced to stop working and people who are stuck in different cities (internationals as well) with groceries and life needs. The authorities and the civil society are working together successfully to overcome the downsides of this pandemic.
No fake news + mental support
Along with all these procedures, The Moroccan authorities imposed a strict fake news law as false news began to rise more than ever; clearing and fighting it in the social media platforms.
The authorities installed a green number to receive all the questions of citizens concerning the pandemic and used this platform to inform the public. In addition to that, another number has been dedicated to reach psychologists to help the stressed and anxious people.
From April 7th onwards, wearing face masks in public was made compulsory, and not wearing it became a felony with the risk of imprisonment. Many Moroccan companies started making masks, enough to meet the needs of all citizens. These companies produce more than 5 million mask a day in the first week of April, a number that is now even day by day.
Involvement of our university, Université Mohammed Premier, Oujda
We would like to thank the involvement of the president of our university, Mr Yassin Zaghloul, for his effective supervision by providing all the goods to fight this pandemic and to facilitate making masks at the university in such hard times. Of course this appreciation also accounts for all the involved researchers and personnel.
To end with, we would like to express our gratitude and appreciations to our heroes!