A breakout of a coronavirus in China has prompted the Moroccan embassy to send out a warning to citizens.
Rabat – The Moroccan embassy in Beijing has warned Moroccan citizens in China to be “vigilant” and take the precautions Chinese health authorities are prescribing against the coronavirus that has killed 26 people to date.
The embassy gave citizens contact numbers (8618701156920 and 8615652198381) and an email address ([email protected]) should Moroccans in China need consular services or other information.
Moroccan officials at the embassy are in “permanent contact” with Chinese authorities, reported news outlet Maroc-Diplomatique, citing the embassy’s press release.
China is describing the new virus as a type of coronavirus that causes pneumonia. The first case came to light less than four weeks ago. The BBC reports that there are 830 confirmed cases of people who have caught the coronavirus.
People with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly, are the most likely to fall victim to the virus.
The virus has spread outside of Wuhan, the city in eastern China where the first cases of the virus were reported. As of Friday, January 24, there have been cases in the US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore.
Royal Air Maroc opened up a new flight between Beijing and Casablanca just last week. However, the risk of the coronavirus reaching Morocco is low, the head of the epidemiology directorate, Mohammed Youbi, told Moroccan newspaper Assabah.
China imposed travel restrictions on the approximately 20 million people living in and around Wuhan, affecting dozens of Moroccan students in the area.
One student who preferred to remain anonymous told Morocco World News, “Anyone who tries to escape [our dormitories] will be sentenced to 7 years in prison.” He also expressed concern about running out of food with only a few days’ worth of food stored up.
The Chinese embassy in Rabat was unreachable for comment.
Despite increasing concerns about the virus, the World Health Organization has not yet labelled it an international emergency.