MOROCCO LEADS EFFORT AGAINST COVID-19
While the alarm grows concerning the spread of Coronavirus in Africa, the management of this pandemic has proven successful in the Kingdom of Morocco, where outstanding human and technical resources and capabilities as well as innovative solutions have been deployed. Morocco has thus proven his capacity to contain pandemic situations as hailed by WHO and other international experts and organisations. Simultaneously, Morocco made a special effort multilaterally, by initiating a joint African Covid-19 Response, joining declaration of the Ministerial Coordination Group on COVID-19 on maintaining essential global links and mobilizing other countries in support of the appeal by United Nations Secretary-General on gender-based violence and COVID-19.
Quick response and anticipatory measures to contain the contagion
During the early stages of the virus outbreak, Morocco has taken protective measures, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travellers coming from high risk zones.
To further mitigate the risk of the virus spread in the Kingdom, screening was introduced at all entry points, including airports, by the end of January. The following month, free testing was made available to public. In early march, when first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed, additional restrictions were introduced by closing gradually the country’s airspace and borders. On March 19, Morocco officially declared state of health emergency and an entire lockdown that was originally scheduled until April 20, and extended later until May 20. On April 7, Morocco introduced the compulsory wearing of masks in public spaces as a preventive measure to limit the spread of the virus.
Global medical mobilization
Morocco has mobilized all its medical resources and infrastructures in the public and private sectors to expand its Covid-19 treatment capacity.
In order to alleviate the pressure exerted on civilian medical facilities, the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) were mobilized enabling set up of additional field hospitals, which include all necessary medical equipment and staffed with doctors, nurses and medical specialists.
Innovation and Conversion of some industries to medical production
Several Moroccan companies have converted their production to address the shortage amid the pandemic Covid-19. Some textile companies turned their production line to meet needs of facial masks, while electronics and aeronautics firms, like SERMP Company, have turned their production to manufacture locally ICU breathing machines. Once again, Moroccan research and innovation system was reliable by developing a 100% Moroccan made artificial respirator and reaching a daily production of more than 3 million masks.
Unprecedented outpouring of solidarity to ease vulnerability
At the initiative of His Majesty the King of Morocco Mohammed VI, an emergency fund was created to address urgent medical needs and mitigate social and economic impact of the pandemic. The fund’s budget, with an initial 1 billion USD, has more than tripled in one week thanks to contributions and donations of public and private institutions as well as individuals.
Comprehensive scheme to support Society and Economy
Immediately after the lockdown was announced, the Economic Monitoring Committee, pledged to evaluate and ease Coronavirus impact, implemented a set of measures which include, among other things, establishment of a moratorium for the reimbursement of bank credits for the benefit of businesses, postponement of the payment of social security contributions (CNSS) and grant of financial relief to employees affected by the loss of their jobs.
On international level, Morocco joined global cooperation in mitigating the unprecedented disruption to the global economy, trade, and travel by signing the joint declaration of the Ministerial Coordination Group on COVID-19 on maintaining essential global links.
In addition, with the European Union, Argentina, Mongolia, Namibia, New Zealand and Turkey, Morocco initiates a statement, signed by 124 UN Member States and Observers, in support of the appeal by United Nations Secretary-General on gender-based violence and COVID-19.
On a continental scale, The King of Morocco proposed a pragmatic and action-oriented initiative to establish an operational framework to guide African countries in their various phases of managing the current corona crisis, starting with experiences and good practices sharing, to enable them address the health, economic and social impact of the pandemic.
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