Moroccans are increasingly concerned by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
Rabat – The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has marked the beginning of a new decade. The year 2020 will be forever remembered as the year of the epidemic.
Since the outbreak of the disease in China’s Wuhan in December 2019, the epidemic claimed the lives of thousands of people. It took the disease only a few weeks to spread across the world, first to South Korea.
The number of countries affected by coronavirus rose from 2 countries to 77, in a period of just three months.
Morocco is among the latest countries to confirm a coronavirus case. The Health Ministry announced the outbreak of the virus in Morocco on Monday, March 2.
The carrier of the virus is a Moroccan residing in Italy. On his journey back to Morocco, the man did not experience any symptoms. After suffering diarrhea, the man went to a hospital for consultation.
After tests, authorities confirmed that the man is carrying the virus. The 104 people who made contact with the man on the flight back to Morocco are under surveillance, each must take their temperatures twice a day. Those who are at risk of being infected are in quarantine, the Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb announced on Tuesday.
The Moroccan Health Ministry also shared advice that Moroccans should follow to avoid infection. The ministry launched a campaign on its social media, sharing videos and posts about ways to avoid coronavirus. Campaigns at schools also started across Morocco to sensitize children of basic and easy precautions to avoid infection.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of the novel coronavirus are fever, exhaustion, and a dry cough. Less common symptoms include aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and diarrhea.
Around 80% of patients recover from the virus without special treatment. Only one out of every six people who contract the COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.
Old people and those suffering from high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. The virus has a 2% fatality rate.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The disease can spread from one person to another through small droplets from the nose or mouth after the patient sneezes or coughs. The droplets can land on objects and surfaces. People can catch the coronavirus after touching the objects and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. People can also catch the virus if they breathe the droplets from a person with COVID-19.
How to avoid infection?
Health authorities are not asking people to buy any medical supplements to avoid the infection. Rather, the Moroccan ministry of health and head of government Saad Eddine El Othmani asked citizens to not panic or exaggerate.
The tips that can help people to avoid infection are basic. Health officials ask people to wash their hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, after blowing their nose or sneezing. People should wash their hands regularly.
People should also cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. When sick, people should also stay home to avoid spreading germs.
Those who have no symptoms or are not sick do not need to use facemasks.
What to do in case of infection?
The Ministry of Health has activated a telephone number to contact in case of any fears of having caught the virus. The number is (+212) 0801004747. After contacting the number, health authorities guide the suspected cases through the procedure to avoid contaminating other people.
It is also recommended to see a doctor in case of unusual respiratory problems, accompanied by fever, tiredness, and a dry cough.
By Safaa Kasraoui & Yahia Hatim