The upcoming stages of Morocco’s fight against the pandemic will be based on weekly assessments of regional situations.
Laftit made the presentation on Monday, June 15, during a session at the House of Representatives.
“The strategy adopted by Morocco to curb the spread of COVID-19 is based on measures aimed at safeguarding public health and strengthening social and economic aspects during the various phases of the fight against the pandemic,” the minister said.
State of emergency extension
Laftit began his presentation by explaining the legal text relating to the state of health emergency.
The decree provides a legal framework to enable the government to take the necessary measures to fight against any health threats, to supervise the decisions adopted by the economic, social, and environmental committees, to suspend some activities, and to close the borders, Laftit explained.
Morocco’s state of health emergency has enabled public authorities to control the country’s epidemiological situation, reducing the numbers of infections and deaths, he added.
The minister then recalled the creation of the Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19. The fund covers the costs of upgrading medical facilities, supporting the national economy, and mitigating the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.
Laftit said the Ministry of the Interior was involved “with seriousness, perseverance, and dedication,” to coordinate the efforts of the different government departments and the committees created to respond to the health crisis.
The creation of provincial coordination centers has played a key role in activating the health strategy and coordinating stakeholder efforts, Laftit revealed.
The minister then thanked elected officials, medical and paramedical staff, members of the Royal Armed Forces, and agents of local authorities, National Security, Royal Gendarmerie, Auxiliary Forces, and Civil Protection for “their exceptional work, selflessness, and spirit of responsibility they have displayed during the crisis.”
The senior official also expressed his pride of the “unprecedented national mobilization of all the components of the Moroccan people,” saying that regular citizens have played a remarkable role in the achievements Morocco has made in its fight against the pandemic.
Measures based on well-studied vision
Regarding the measures taken to manage the current and upcoming phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, Laftit said that the government has implemented an integrated vision to manage the crisis. He explained that the extension of the state of emergency until July 10 aims to provide public authorities with the necessary means to manage the phase of easing the lockdown, which began on June 11.
One important measure in the current phase is the regrouping of active COVID-19 cases, as well as future patients, in two dedicated hospitals starting June 20. The move aims to accelerate the process of lifting the lockdown through freeing other hospitals for patients who suffer from unrelated illnesses, Laftit explained.
The hospitals of Benslimane, near Casablanca, and Benguerir, near Marrakech, will take care exclusively of active COVID-19 cases and implement reinforced safety measures, the minister revealed.
Conditions to move to next phase
At the end of his presentation, Laftit enumerated four requirements for moving to the next phase of managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first condition is elaborating separate plans for easing the lockdown: A general plan that concerns the entire national territory, and local plans dedicated to each region.
The second requirement concerns developing forecasts for the epidemiological evolution in each region, based on accurate current data.
The third element is reducing the disparities between the government-designated Zone 1, which includes 59 prefectures and provinces, and Zone 2, which includes 16.
The fourth and final condition is flexibility and the possibility of revising or cancelling all the less restrictive measures taken, in case of negative evolutions.
Moroccan authorities are set to assess the measures taken and the conditions met at the level of each province and prefecture on a weekly basis, through monitoring and follow-up committees, Laftit said.
The committees, chaired by local governors, will include representatives from the concerned government departments and security services.