Morocco’s health minister has repeatedly stressed the importance of wearing face masks in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The proportion has significantly increased in recent months, according to HCP. In April, 73% of Moroccan households surveyed reported having face masks.
In urban areas, the figures increased from 81% to 89% between April and June. In rural areas, the proportion of mask-owners rose from 57% to 93% during the same period.
The report on the socioeconomic and psychological impacts of COVID-19 on Moroccans found that 80% of families have enough masks for each individual household member. This figure stood at 33% in April, HCP underlined.
The HCP study also found that 68% of households reported having disinfectant products. In urban areas, 76% reported having these products compared to 50% in rural areas.
Almost all surveyed Moroccan households — 95.1% — reported that they have continued to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from COVID-19 despite the easing of lockdown measures.
Face masks in Morocco
Wearing face masks in public became mandatory in Morocco on April 7 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At the time, the country had confirmed 1,120 cases of the virus, 80 deaths, and 81 recoveries.
As recently as July 16, Morocco’s Minister of Health, Khalid Ait Taleb, reiterated the importance of wearing face masks to curb COVID-19.
The health minister attributed the recent surges in COVID-19 cases throughout the country to Moroccans’ lax attitude towards preventive measures such as wearing masks and social distancing. In the spirit of solidarity and patriotism, he urged Moroccans to continue to respect safety measures to curb COVID-19.
He stressed that Moroccan citizens and residents have a duty to protect the vulnerable, such as the sick and elderly, from the coronavirus, and that the country must continue to stay vigilant during the summer months.
The current COVID-19 situation in Morocco
HCP carried out the study on the impact of COVID-19 on Moroccan households between June 15 and June 24, just before Morocco entered the second phase of lockdown lifting on June 25.
The second phase moved the majority of Moroccan provinces and prefectures into Zone 1, where residents enjoy unrestricted movement, no curfews, and the resumption of many normal activities such as outdoor sporting activities and dining at restaurants or cafes.
The third phase of lockdown lifting is set to begin on July 20. New measures include allowing tourist establishments, such as hotels, to operate at 100% of their capacity. Cultural institutions, libraries, museums, and monuments are also set to reopen at 50% capacity. Public transport may operate at 75% capacity between and within cities. Gatherings and activities of less than 20 people will be permitted.
As of July 19, Morocco has confirmed 17,236 cases of COVID-19, including 14,921 recoveries and 273 deaths.