Morocco shuts down major cities after spike in coronavirus cases

Rabat has locked down cities including the country's economic powerhouse Casablanca, and top tourist destination Marrakech. (REUTERS)
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Updated 26 July 2020

Morocco shuts down major cities after spike in coronavirus cases

  • The new restrictions come as Covid-19 cases spike following an initial easing of lockdown measures

RABAT: Morocco will stop people entering and leaving some of its biggest cities from midnight to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases, the interior and health Ministries said on Sunday.
The cities to be locked down include the economic powerhouse of Casablanca as well as Tangier, Marrakech, Fez and Meknes.
The country eased a nationwide lockdown a month ago, though international flights are still suspended except special flights by national airlines carrying Moroccans or foreign residents.
On Sunday, the health ministry said 633 new COVID-19 cases were recorded, one of the biggest daily rises so far, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 20,278, with 313 deaths and 16,438 recoveries.
Morocco has carried out 1.1 million tests and has made mask-wearing mandatory. It has extended an emergency decree, until August 10, giving authorities leeway in restoring restrictive measures on a region-by-region basis depending on developments in the epidemic.
The government expects Morocco to record a budget deficit of 7.5% of gross domestic product this year, and the economy to shrink by 5%.


Czech Republic reports 2,309 new coronavirus cases in slight dip

Updated 24 September 2020

Czech Republic reports 2,309 new coronavirus cases in slight dip

  • In the past two weeks, Czech infections have been rising at the second fastest rate in Europe

PRAGUE: The Czech Republic recorded 2,309 new infections in its third highest daily rise since the coronavirus pandemic began, but the figure was down slightly from 2,392 the previous day, health ministry data showed on Thursday.
In the past two weeks, Czech infections have been rising at the second fastest rate in Europe, for a tally of 55,464 cases since the first infections were detected in March.
Authorities have reinstated some measures to rein in the virus, such as mask-wearing and, from Thursday, stricter limits on opening hours for bars.