Morocco suspends flights with another five countries due to the emergence of new COVID-19 variants.
Rabat – Moroccan authorities have suspended all flights to and from five, mostly European, countries starting midnight, February 22, to limit the spread of new COVID-19 strains.
So far the embassies of Switzerland, Turkey, and the Netherlands have confirmed the flight suspensions. The Dutch embassy also confirmed on Twitter the disruption of flights with Germany as well.
Although the Austrian embassy has not yet confirmed this, local Moroccan media reported that flights to and from the country have also been suspended.
The Moroccan government is yet to make an official announcement about the suspensions.
Since the emergence of new COVID-19 strains, Morocco has suspended flights with several countries, including the UK, South Africa, Denmark, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, Ukraine and the Czech Republic
According to the available information, the decision to suspend flights will be reviewed in 15 days.
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Despite enacting various proactive measures, Morocco has to date detected at least 24 cases of the UK strain.
Some of the new COVID-19 variants have much higher transmission rates, even if the fatality rate is largely unchanged.
Although there is not enough information at the time to confirm the efficiency of different vaccines against the new COVID-19 variants, scientists have detected two mutations that can reduce antibody binding.
The appearance of new strains comes at a sensitive time, and the Moroccan health authorities are concerned that the new mutations could disrupt the national vaccination campaign against COVID-19.
Morocco launched its anti-COVID-19 vaccination campaign on January 28. The national vaccination campaign aims to reach at least 33 million Moroccans in order to achieve collective immunity by the end of the year.
Morocco has confirmed 481,263 COVID-19 cases to date, reaching a total of 8,559 deaths. The country’s health authorities have vaccinated 2,552,017 people so far.