Morocco resumes domestic travel, opens field hospital
Published 21 Jun,2020 via Asharq Alawsat (English Edition) - Morocco will further loosen lockdown measures for the services sector and domestic transport starting June 24, the government said on Sunday.
Cafes, restaurants, sports clubs, and other services and entertainment businesses will be able to resume activity at half capacity except in the provinces of Tangier, Larache, Marrakech, and Kenitra, where infections remain higher, it said.
Domestic travel will resume including flights and railways, it said. International passenger traffic remains suspended.
Mosques have been closed since the lockdown started on March 20 and the state of emergency has been extended to July 10. Schools will only reopen in September.
Most coronavirus cases registered recently were in industrial or among extended families, with 457 cases on Friday, the largest single-day rise in cases, in a cluster linked to fruit packaging plants north of Rabat, where a field hospital was set up.
The hospital will from Sunday receive around 700 COVID-19 patients following a sharp spike in infections in the kingdom, the government said.
Morocco reported a record single-day rise in novel coronavirus cases on Friday after an outbreak was detected in fruit packing plants in eastern Kenitra province, prompting Rabat to tighten restrictions in the region.
Authorities closed facilities, tested workers, and launched an investigation to "establish responsibility" for the outbreak, Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit said, as cited by official news agency MAP.
The field hospital will receive from Sunday "around 700 registered cases", he added.
Several towns in the region were placed under quarantine and screenings were carried out among residents, who were asked to go out only in cases of "extreme necessity".
A dozen ambulances were stationed in Moulay Bousselham, one of the quarantined towns, ready to be dispatched to pick up confirmed cases.
Morocco, with a population of 34 million, has reported just over 9,800 cases and 213 deaths from the novel coronavirus.
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