The number of Moroccans to be repatriated could increase over time depending on the health situation in the country.
Rabat – Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb has announced that Morocco will carry out the repatriation of Moroccans stranded abroad by returning home 300 people each week, before progressively increasing the number.
“The authorization has been given to repatriate 300 Moroccans per week. And that is what we are doing now,” announced Ait Taleb, who spoke before the Committee on Social Sectors in the House of Representatives on Thursday, May 28.
The minister added that the number of Moroccans to be repatriated will probably increase in the future, depending on the evolution of Morocco’s health situation.
Upon arrival in Morocco, the repatriated Moroccans will have to spend nine days in quarantine to ensure they are not COVID-19 carriers.
Ait Taleb emphasized that all Moroccan returnees will undergo serological tests for COVID-19 before departure, identical to those carried out for Moroccans returnees from Ceuta and Melilla.
He pointed out that during the repatriation of Moroccans stranded in Ceuta and Melilla, health officials have detected several COVID-19 cases and retained those infected for treatment.
The first 300 to return home after those in Melilla and Ceuta will be among those Moroccans currently stranded in Algeria, the minister concluded.
The number of Moroccans stranded in the four corners of the world is estimated at 30,000 following the closure of the maritime, air, and land borders on March 13.
The minister did not specify, however, the date Morocco will start the repatriation operations.
While Morocco has witnessed relative success in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of the Moroccans who felt abandoned by their country remained unsolved after nearly three months of lockdowns across the world.
Many of those stuck in host countries have sent distress calls to authorities, shedding light on their psychological, physical, and financial struggles.
Moroccan authorities, in turn, promised to offer them relief—but only after they would receive confirmation from the Ministry of Health that the COVID-19 situation in Morocco is “under control.”
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