The ban does not appear to affect open-air gatherings but impacts all large conferences, cultural, and sporting events in enclosed spaces.
Rabat – After confirming a second case of the Covid-19 coronavirus in the country, Morocco has banned “all events in which more than 1,000 people participate,” reports Maghreb Arab Press.
The ban, effective Thursday, March 5, comes from the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports and does not appear to concern open-air gatherings. The ban impacts all large conferences, cultural, and sporting events to be held in enclosed spaces in Morocco, in response to the cases of Covid-19.
The ministry made the decision as a precautionary measure to lower the risk of the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
All festivals, except Morocco’s many annual regional festivals called moussems, are also banned.
Morocco recorded its first case of the coronavirus on Monday, March 2. The patient was a Moroccan man who had traveled from his residence in Italy to Morocco in February. Italy has confirmed over 3,000 cases of Covid-19.
Morocco confirmed a second case on Wednesday, March 4. The 89-year-old woman, a Moroccan who had traveled from northern Italy, suffers from an underlying condition and is in critical condition, health officials said.
Both patients are in quarantine and receiving treatment in Casablanca.
The government has taken measures to monitor all people who were on the same airplane flights as the two patients.
The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) decided on Wednesday it would begin holding the football matches of several leagues behind closed doors.
Prevention measures against Covid-19 in Morocco have already impacted large events.
A major conference for international business and political leaders in Dakhla, Crans Montana, was set to open on March 18, but organizers have cancelled it.
The Ministry of Agriculture has also canceled Morocco’s International Agriculture Exhibition (SIAM) in Meknes, a city near Fez. The agriculture fair was scheduled for April 14-19.
Meanwhile, the government has warned citizens to be alert to “fake news” surrounding the novel coronavirus. Police have made several arrests of pranksters telling false stories about the virus and spreading rumors online.