According to El Othmani, the measures are successfully shielding citizens from the pandemic and its impact.
Rabat – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Morocco, currently standing at 1,763, confirms the validity of the Moroccan government’s proactive and precautionary measures, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani said today, April 13.
The measures, taken at the appropriate time, have reduced the spread of COVID-19 in the country, he said.
The head of government made the statements during a session at the House of Representatives while discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the country.
“The increase in [coronavirus] cases is still moderate, thanks to the efforts made by everyone,” El Othmani said.
El Othmani explained that the Moroccan government has adopted a participatory approach to mobilize actors from several sectors in the national efforts to combat the pandemic and is committed to transparency regarding the situation.
Upgrading the healthcare system
El Othmani recalled the Moroccan government’s measures against the spread of the virus.
A major initiative was King Mohammed VI’s decision to deploy military medical staff to assist its civilian counterpart during the state of health emergency. The initiative improved the quality of monitoring for suspected COVID-19 cases, as well as the treatment of patients, El Othmani said.
In September 2019, Morocco established a system of epidemiological monitoring through national and regional centers for public health emergency operations. The government created the centers within the framework of the National 2025 Health Plan.
The head of government said the centers have been very effective in monitoring, tracking, and notifying the public of all COVID-19 developments in the country.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economy has allocated MAD 2 billion ($200 million) from the Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19 to upgrade the national health system.
The budget covers the purchase of medical and hospital equipment, including 1,000 intensive care beds and 550 ventilators. It will also cover the purchase of 100,000 sampling equipment and 100,000 testing kits, along with several medical consumables.
Protecting the economy
El Othmani also underscored the measures taken to guarantee services for citizens, including remote learning programs, the maintenance of basic public utility services, and the continued supply of markets with essential goods.
The Economic Monitoring Committee, created to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, has taken a series of measures to protect workers and business owners, he continued.
Employees in the formal sector with suspended activity will receive a monthly stipend of MAD 2,000 ($200) during the national lockdown, while workers in the informal sector will receive monthly allowances ranging between MAD 800 ($80) and MAD 1,200 ($120).
Over 700,000 employees in the formal sector have so far benefited from financial aid, while nearly 100,000 cases remain under study, El Othmani revealed.
Supporting stranded citizens
As for Moroccan citizens stranded abroad, estimated at 7,000 people, Moroccan embassies and consulates have received instructions to provide them with support and assistance.
Morocco’s diplomatic missions are available 24/7 to help Moroccans and will provide accommodations and food for those unable to cover the costs of their stay abroad.
Moroccan diplomacy also intervenes to help stranded Moroccans extend the validity period of their visas, El Othmani added.
The head of government concluded by saying the silver lining of the COVID-19 crisis is that Moroccan institutions and individuals are all participating in a national solidarity effort to preserve public health and prosperity.