July 27 – 01 August, 2020 | Press review Morocco

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August 01, 2020, COVID-19 vaccine – the end of the tunnel?

The EU is stockpiling millions of doses at Sanofi and Russia is preparing a mass vaccination,
Things seem to be accelerating for the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine.

In any case, several announcements in the last few hours suggest that the end of the tunnel is not too far off. In this sense, the Russian Ministry of Health is preparing a mass vaccination campaign against the new coronavirus for the month of October. According to local news agencies, this decision was taken after a potential vaccine has completed its clinical trials. However, Western medical sources still seem to have reservations about the Russian ads. In Europe, too, the race for a vaccine appears to be reaching a decisive stage. For example, the European Union has ordered 300 million doses of a vaccine developed by Sanofi.

The European Commission has announced that it has concluded exploratory discussions with the pharmaceutical company “Sanofi” for the purchase of 300 million doses of a potential vaccine against COVID-19 on behalf of the 27 member states.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

August 01, 2020: In Morocco temperatures up to 46°C between Saturday and Monday

Hot weather is expected from Saturday to Monday in several provinces of the Kingdom and thunder showers are expected this afternoon and evening in some areas, the Directorate General of Meteorology (DGM) announced Saturday.

Thus, temperatures ranging from 42 to 46°C are expected Saturday and Sunday in the provinces of Assa-Zag, Es-Smara, Taroudant, Tata and the east of the provinces of Aousserd, Boujdour and Oued Ed-Dahab, the DGM said in a special weather bulletin of orange level. Temperatures ranging between 40 and 44°C are also expected Saturday and Sunday in the provinces of El Kelaa des Sraghna, Fez, Fquih Ben Salah, Guelmim, Guercif, Marrakech, Moulay Yacoub, Nador, Driouch, Rehamna, Settat, Taounate, Taourirt, Taza and Zagora.

The provinces of Assa-Zag, El Kelaa des Sraghna, Es-Semara, Fquih Ben Salah, Marrakech, Rehamna, Taroudant, Tata and the eastern provinces of Aousserd, Boujdour and Oued Ed-Dahab should know Monday temperatures ranging from 40 to 45 ° C, according to the same bulletin.

In addition, locally moderate thundershowers will happen this afternoon and evening the High and Middle Atlas, the Rif, Tansift and the phosphate plateaus with gusts, said the same source.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 31, 2020: Black Week in Morocco-Records of coronavirus infections follow one another

Until 5pm this Friday, 1,063 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Morocco, 91% of which are among contacts of confirmed cases. The total number of infections in the country, since the beginning of the pandemic, reaches 24,322. This figure is equivalent to 67 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, said the daily press briefing of the Ministry of Health.

In addition, 374 recoveries have been recorded, i.e. a total of 17,658, with a remission rate of 72%. That said, 7 deaths were reported, for a total of 353 deaths. These recent deaths were recorded in Tangier (2), Fez (2), Casablanca (1), Marrakech (1) and Berkane (1).

Morocco now has 6,311 active cases, treated in dedicated hospitals in the regions of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceïma (1,798), Casablanca-Settat (1,774) and Fez-Meknes (1,460), Marrakech-Safi (601) and Rabat-Salé-Kénitra (329), the Oriental (95), Drâa-Tafilalet (82), Beni Mellal Khénifra (76), Dakhla-Oued Ed Dahab (51), Souss-Massa (32), Laâyoune-Es Sakia El Hamra (10) and Guelmim-Oued Nous (3).

Among these active cases, 76 are in intensive care, including 20 in Casablanca-Settat with 7 patients under respiratory assistance, 24 in Marrakech-Safi, including 2 under respiratory assistance, 16 in Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceïma, 12 in Fez-Meknes, 2 in Rabat-Salé-Kénitra and 2 in Souss-Massa.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

31 July 2020: Pillage, robbery and violence in a cattle market in Hay Hassani, 20 arrests.

20 people were arrested following acts of theft and violence at the Hay Hassani cattle market in Casablanca, which is used to supply sheep for Eid al-Adha. Social networking videos show an apocalyptic atmosphere in the city of Casablanca.

Videos widely distributed on social networks on July 30 show a real mess at the livestock market in the Azmat region, under the jurisdiction of the Hay Hassani prefecture in Casablanca. The chaos has set in, as evidenced by the images illustrating the apocalyptic atmosphere, several individuals have taken advantage of the situation to steal sheep on sale.
According to a communiqué issued by the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN), 20 people were arrested, including eight minors, for “their alleged involvement in acts of violence, theft and stone-throwing” in this livestock market. The DGSN added that “the nature and motives of these acts are being researched and investigated”, noting that “the interventions have made it possible to arrest several individuals involved in these criminal acts and to restore order in the market”.

“The defendants were subjected to a preliminary investigation under the supervision of the competent prosecutor’s office to clarify the details of this case,” the statement said. According to the same source, no complaints of theft in connection with the case have been filed.
According to different sources, the events are allegedly linked to the surge in sheep prices on the eve of the Aid al-Adha celebration.
As a reminder, seven cattle markets for the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha were closed for failure to comply with the required sanitary measures. The markets in question, as announced in a joint communiqué issued by the Ministries of the Interior and Agriculture, were located in the regions of Rabat-Salé-Kenitra, Casablanca-Settat, Marrakech-Safi, Fez-Meknes and Beni Mellal-Khenifra. The one in Hay Hassani was found to comply with safety standards.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 30, 2020: Morocco remains in the European Union’s list of safe third countries

The European Union (EU) decided Thursday to maintain Morocco in its list of third countries for which it recommends lifting travel restrictions, the EU Council announced.

“As of 31 July, Member States should progressively lift travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, in addition to China, subject to the application of reciprocity,” the EU Council said in a statement.

The list, which is reassessed every two weeks, is drawn up on the basis of criteria relating in particular to developments in the epidemiological situation and containment measures, as well as economic and social considerations, according to the same source.

According to the EU criteria on the epidemiological situation, third countries on the list should have a number of new cases of COVID-19 per 100 000 inhabitants in the previous 14 days close to or below the EU average and a stable or decreasing trend in new cases in that period compared to the previous 14 days.

For more information, please consult (in English) the following link.

29 July, 2020: Throne Day-7 things to remember from the King’s speech

On the occasion of the Throne Day, King Mohammed VI addressed a speech to the nation on Wednesday. A speech during which the Sovereign announced several projects and reforms. Here are 7 points to remember from the royal speech:

  1. Elaboration of a plan that will allow to face, if necessary, a possible second wave of the pandemic.
  2. Launching a recovery plan of 120 billion DH, equivalent to 11% of GDP, to enable the production sectors to recover, to increase their capacity to create jobs and preserve sources of income.
  3. Creation of a Strategic Investment Fund to fulfill a mission of support to production activities, accompaniment and financing of major public-private investment projects in a variety of areas.
  4. Launching a far-reaching reform of the public sector to correct the structural malfunctions of public institutions and enterprises, ensure optimum complementarity and coherence between their respective missions and, ultimately, enhance their economic and social efficiency.
  5. Creation of a National Agency whose mission will be to ensure the strategic management of State participation and to monitor the performance of public institutions.
  6. Launching, over the next five years, of the process of generalizing social security coverage for the benefit of all Moroccans: the gradual deployment of this operation will start from January 2021, in accordance with a precise programme of action. This programme will focus, first and foremost, on the generalization of compulsory health insurance and family allowances. It will then be extended to other social security aspects such as retirement and compensation for loss of employment.
  7. Rigorous reform of the social systems and programmes already in place, in particular through the operationalization of the Unified Social Register (RSU).

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 28, 2020: Aid Al Adha-Sept livestock market closed for non-compliance with sanitary measures

Seven market of cattle for the sacrifice of Aid Al-Adha were closed for failure to comply with the sanitary measures required to prevent the spread of COVID-19, said Tuesday a joint statement by the Ministries of Interior and Agriculture.

“In the framework of the sanitary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the souks of cattle intended for the sacrifice of Aid Al Adha, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fishing, of Rural Development and Water and Forestry have closed several souks throughout the Kingdom on the basis of the observations and recommendations of the local souk monitoring commissions and in accordance with the guide published jointly on this subject,” the same source adds,

These are the Souk Al Had in Sidi Bouknadel-Salé (Region of Rabat-Salé-Kénitra) closed on 27 July, the Souk el Arba el Aounate in the Province of Sidi Bennour (Region of Casablanca-Settat), which will be closed from 29 July, and the Souk Had Lfraita in the Province of El Kelaa des Sraghnas (Region of Marrakech-Safi, closed on 27 July.

In the region of Fez-Meknes, 3 souks, namely Bouderbala (Boubidmane Commune), Sebt Jahjouh and Ras Jerry were closed on 20 July, the communiqué said, adding that in the region of Beni Mellal-Khenifra, Souk Ait Ishak in Khenifra was closed on 28 July.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 28, 2020: Road Transport/Morocco – Ministry of Transport urges compliance with anti-COVID-19 measures

The Ministry of Public Works, Transport, Logistics and Water urged, on Monday, citizens and professionals to respect the measures established for the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

In a press release on the day after the decision to ban travel to and from eight cities in the Kingdom, the ministry called on citizens and professionals in the road transport sector (goods transport and public transport of people) to respect the decisions previously taken by the ministry, as well as the decisions established by the competent public authorities, including social distancing, the wearing of masks and the use of disinfectants, in order to preserve the security of all and fight against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this context, concerning the road transport of goods, the Ministry reminds all professionals in this sector that the number of passengers authorized for goods transport vehicles is two persons (the driver of the vehicle and one accompanying person).

With regard to the public passenger transport sector (public passenger transport, mixed transport, tourist transport and the transport of personnel), the ministry urges strict compliance with the prevention measures included in the specifications concerning the management of the dangers of the spread of this pandemic relating to transport companies and their employees, as well as the specifications relating to bus stations, while encouraging travellers to show cooperation with the various stakeholders in order to comply with these provisions.

Recalling the joint communiqué of the Ministries of the Interior and Health of 26 July, relating to the ban on travel to and from the cities of Tangier, Tetouan, Fez, Meknes, Casablanca, Berrechid, Settat and Marrakech, the Ministry stresses that travellers to and from these cities must obtain a special travel permit issued by the local authorities.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 28, 2020: HCP-Coronavirus pandemic has aggravated marital conflicts in Morocco

The Office of the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP) reported that the period of confinement in Morocco has been conducive to an increase in marital conflicts due to child rearing, budgeting and other family and domestic work. According to the HCP, which published a study on social relations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, yesterday Monday, one in four Moroccans (25.4%) experienced conflict situations with those with whom they were confined (28% among women and 22% among men).

Of these, 34 per cent had conflicts with their spouse (33 per cent among women and 35 per cent among men), 60 per cent with a member of the household other than the spouse (56 per cent among women and 54 per cent among men) and 6 per cent with the spouse and another member of the household (11 per cent among women and 0.2 per cent among men), HCP said in its report.

The HCP also found that 18 per cent of Moroccans (19 per cent of urban dwellers and 15 per cent of rural dwellers) felt that their burden of housework had increased during confinement, 27 per cent among women compared to 8 per cent among men. These two proportions are 33 per cent and 11 per cent respectively in households of 5 persons or more and 11 per cent and 1.5 per cent in individual households. The report further indicated that many parents reported marital conflicts because of the support and monitoring of their children’s schooling, with a percentage of 13.8 per cent for rural respondents and 8.7 per cent for urban respondents.

The HCP indicates that 11 per cent of Moroccans have experienced neighbourhood problems (noise, tension, etc.). This share is higher in city areas, with 14 per cent, compared to 7 per cent among rural areas, among those living in an apartment (15 per cent), those living in precarious housing or shantytowns (16 per cent).

Among employed working women who continued to work during confinement, 73.4 per cent of them managed to reconcile their professional activities and domestic obligations (housework, care of children and the elderly and/or sick and shopping) with ease, 18 per cent with difficulty and 8.7 per cent with great difficulty. These proportions are 72.8 per cent, 19.8 per cent and 7.4 per cent, respectively, among female employees in urban areas and 69.1 per cent, 19.5 per cent and 11.4 per cent, respectively, among family assistants in rural areas.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

27 July, 2020: COVID-19 Morocco – Epidemiological situation very “worrying”.

The epidemiological situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming “worrying”, given the increase in contaminations, serious cases and deaths due to the disease, Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb said Monday in Rabat.

“The balance of cases of contamination recorded in the space of a week exceeds what has been recorded in four months in Morocco,” the minister said at a press conference the day after the decision to ban travel to and from eight cities in the Kingdom.

“A worrisome situation does not mean out of control,” he said, expressing alarm at the “epidemic outbreak” of recent days, the main cause of the government’s decision to ban travel.

He noted that since the announcement of the gradual easing of the state of health emergency, the eight provinces and prefectures affected by the travel ban (Tangiers, Tetouan, Fez, Meknes, Casablanca, Berrechid, Settat and Marrakech) have experienced a considerable increase in cases of COVID-19 contamination.

Referring to the decision announced by the Ministries of Interior and Health, Ait Taleb said he understood the “anger” expressed by some citizens, but said that the virus “does not give any delays”.

The minister, in this context, welcomed the unfailing commitment of citizens during the containment period and called for an equally rigorous re-commitment to limit as much as possible the spread of the virus, saying that the health security of the citizen remains “the priority”.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.