Moroccan King Mohammad VI orders military to join battle against coronavirus

Moroccan King Mohammad VI has ordered the mobilization of Royal Armed Forces’ medical resources to help the country’s fight against the novel coronavirus. (AFP)
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Updated 23 March 2020

Moroccan King Mohammad VI orders military to join battle against coronavirus

DUBAI: Moroccan King Mohammad VI has ordered the mobilization of Royal Armed Forces’ medical resources to help the country’s fight against the novel coronavirus.

Under the royal order, the Moroccan armed forces’ medical practitioners would work with their civilian counterparts and share facilities, “in this critical mission”, according to a Royal Court statement from the Moroccan News Agency late Sunday.

Military medics and paramedics will start backing the healthcare system and strengthen the nationwide preventative steps starting Monday.

The King’s order follows recent detection of shortage in some specializations of health care frontliners against the coronavirus, the statement said, as the ruler exhorted military and civilians in the medical industry to work as one.

Morocco on Sunday reported seven new coronavirus cases, bringing the infection to 115. Three patients have recovered wile four succumbed to the disease.

Morocco’s Government Council, which convened on Sunday, meanwhile adopted a draft decree implementing provisions relating to the “state of health emergency” as well as procedures for its implementation, as part of emergency measures to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

Under this draft law, any violation of the instructions and decisions by the public authorities is punishable by one to three months’ imprisonment and a fine ranging from 300 to 1,300 Moroccan dirhams or one of the two penalties, without prejudice to the heaviest criminal penalty, the statement added, noting that the measures taken do not hinder the continuity of public services offered to citizens, the Moroccan News Agency reported.

Morocco earlier banned private and public transport between cities, starting on Saturday, March 21 at midnight, as part of the “state of health emergency”, declared by the country.


Explosion hits Hezbollah weapons store in southern Lebanon

Updated 6 min 4 sec ago

Explosion hits Hezbollah weapons store in southern Lebanon

  • Blast took place in the village of Ain Qanaa, a Hezbollah stronghold

CAIRO: A huge explosion hit a Hezbollah arms store in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, injuring several people.
The blast took place in the village of Ain Qana and comes after a massive explosion last month devastated large areas of the capital Beirut.  Lebanon's official news agency, NNA, said the explosion coincided with intense Israeli overflights “that did not leave the skies” over the area since Tuesday morning.
A security source told Reuters that the explosion was caused by a “technical error.”
Videos showed large plumes of smoke rising into the air over the village, which is within a Hezbollah stronghold.
The Iran-backed militant group has large stores of weapons and missiles across southern Lebanon. Hezbollah considered by several countries in the west to be a terrorist organization, has fought several wars with Israel.
Members of the group imposed a security cordon around the area.
The mysterious explosion comes seven weeks after the massive explosion at Beirut port, caused by the detonation of nearly 3,000 tons of improperly stored ammonium nitrate. The explosion killed nearly 200 people, injured 6,500 and damaged tens of thousands of buildings in the capital, Beirut.
It is still not clear what caused the initial fire that ignited the chemicals, and so far no one has been held accountable.

(with Reuters and AP)