Amid fears of the expansion of the novel COVID-19, the Kingdom of Morocco has dedicated more than 2.7% of GDP (ranks 4th globally) to protect the Moroccan people from the effects of global pandemic.
At an early stage equally, Morocco decided to close its airspace and borders by suspending all flights to and from Morocco until further notice, in addition to the closing of all public places (including schools, universities, worship places…etc) and cancelling all large gatherings.
The Moroccan authorities have called for voluntary isolation, urging the citizens to stay at home and limit their movement. Going out should be conditioned by absolute necessity, consisting in making essential purchases, going to the doctor or going to work.
“These measures are part of a set of other preventive measures adopted by Authorities to limit the spread of the COVID-19 in the country, at a time when the number of COVID-19 cases reached 1021 (As for April 6, 2020)”, Mr. Karim Medrek, the Ambassador of kingdom of Morocco in Australia told Vibe Media on Monday.
Terming COVID-19 a major challenge to Morocco’s economy and people, Ambassador Medrek said that Morocco has been making strides in terms of response.
“To bolster the national economy against the pandemic, King Mohammed VI ordered on March 15 the creation of the Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19, which has amassed a total budget of 6 billion AUD. The fund serves to mobilize measures that will stabilize the Moroccan economy and improve the country’s health infrastructure as the novel coronavirus takes its toll”, he explained.
Besides, Morocco has mobilized all its resources to provide excellent medical services and infrastructures, in addition to providing the necessary stocks of medicine used to treat COVID-19. In order to boost COVID-19 detection, the Moroccan authorities announced a future purchase of 100,000 rapid test kits for COVID-19, in addition to the performance of 10,000 screening tests daily.
Ambassador mentioned that a group of Moroccan researchers and engineers invented two ‘Made in Morocco’ devices: An “automatic ventilator” and an “infrared thermometer”. The two inventions are prototype models pending mass production in the near future, after an efficiency examination to ensure that they meet international standards.
For these reasons, the World Health Organization and other international experts underlined that Morocco has shown outstanding human and technical resources and capabilities to face the virus. In addition to the medical action taken by the nation, Morocco has been taking its economy very seriously. The fundamentals of the Moroccan national economy show that the country’s economy is resilient enough to be able to absorb, in the short term, the shocks induced by this crisis.
Highlighting government relief support, Ambassador Medrek informed that a stimulus package has been introduced by the Moroccan Government in order to support the national economy, to strengthen health infrastructure, preserve jobs, and support the purchasing power of vulnerable households. These measures prioritize Moroccan lives while ensuring the resilience of economic activity.
To face the looming economic challenges, the Moroccan government established the Economic Monitoring Committee (CVE) on March 11, 2020 after confirming the country’s fifth case of COVID-19. The CVE has suspended the payment of social security contributions, postponed tax payment deadlines for large businesses, and launched a program to grant stipends to both formal and informal workers affected by business suspensions and mobility restrictions.
In terms of Education, the Government, through the Ministry in charge of this vital sector, established a special program of online and TV courses. Besides, students enjoy free internet access to websites hosting online classes amid the coronavirus-induced school suspensions. The Moroccan national television channels are broadcasting up to 56 courses everyday reaching more than 600,000 users per day.
In light of Morocco’s state of emergency and the closure of several art events and institutes such as museums, the Moroccan National Foundation of Museums, decided to offer free online museum visits through a 360° virtual immersion. Besides, the Moroccan Cinematographic Center decided to launch a series of the most recent Moroccan Movie Productions online and for free, so that Citizens can enjoy their time at home during this difficult period.
In the same vein, Morocco’s diplomatic missions and consulates around the world have been mobilized all over the last weeks to follow up the situation of the Moroccan Community in the respective countries of accreditation and sparing no effort to offering assistance when needed.
Morocco’s approach in dealing with this exceptional situation has been hailed by International Media, as shown through articles published by the “New York Times” or “El Pais” considering that the Kingdom has set the example by prioritizing the health of citizens above any other consideration.