The North African country will start producing 5 million masks per day next week.
Rabat – Protective face masks produced by Moroccan manufacturers will soon hit European markets to alleviate production pressure in Europe’s hard-hit countries.
Morocco’s Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy said that European countries are asking Morocco to export its protective masks
The minister said on April 7 that Morocco produces 3 million masks each day as part of the country’s COVID-19 response measures.
The production measure is in line with royal instructions.
“We have been working on this project for three weeks span. We have been discussing the idea with textile companies who were ready to get involved in the process,” the minister said.
Elalamy reassured citizens that Morocco is now able to produce 3 million masks on a daily basis. By April 14, Morocco will surpass the number, manufacturing more than 5 million masks each day.
“In light of the pandemic, we studied relevant measures to alleviate pressure and assist the health ministry to overcome this issue,” he said.
The production of protective masks started one week ago. Textile companies first started to distribute the masks at the Ministry of Health. The second to benefit from the masks were authorities’ delegations and factories.
Referencing the mobilization of the national market, Elalamy said that the companies have now distributed 5.3 million masks to supermarkets and local shops.
“We had a partnership with two companies that manufacture milk,” because their distribution reaches “all points of sales across Morocco,” he explained.
The textile companies will hand the masks to the two milk companies, whose role is now to distribute masks at 66,000 points of sale across the country.
All points of sale will have masks by the end of the week, the minister vowed.
Elalamy also recalled that the masks are available at a price of MAD 0.80 ($0.10.
The minister said that King Mohammed VI ordered this price for the masks so they can be affordable for all citizens.
“Please make sure to get the mask for MAD 0.80. It is unfair for [citizens] to buy the masks for more than MAD 0.80 while the King is giving high instruction about the prices.”
Elalamy, however, warned that the masks sold at pharmacies are different from those manufactured by textile companies.
Those at pharmacies usually cost more because they are medical masks that are used by COVID-19 patients or doctors.
Morocco has confirmed 1,242 COVID-19 caes, including 97 recoveries and 91 fatalities.
The country entered into a state of emergency on March 20 and announced that all citizens must wear medical face masks in public on April 6.
The new measure comes into effect today, April 7.
The decision is in line with national efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Failing to wear a mask may lead to a sentence ranging from one to three months in prison, in accordance with Article 4 of Decree Law 2.20.292.
Violators may also face a fine between MAD 300 and 1,300 ($29 to $126).
The same measures apply against violators of the state of emergency. People without an authorized exceptional movement permit cannot go out into public. Anyone who does not hold a signed permit in public can face the same penalties of one to three months in prison and/or a fine of MAD 300 to 1,300 ($29 to $126).