Morocco extends state of emergency by one month, relaxes lockdown regulations

CAPE TOWN, June 10 (ANA) – Moroccan authorities have decided to extend a Covid-19 state of emergency by one month to July 10, with the tally of infections nationwide rising to 8,437, online news outlet Morocco World News reported.

The country was meant to exit the state of emergency on Wednesday.

However, while the government believed the Covid-19 outbreak was under control in the North African country, it felt it would be risky to take the “extreme decision” to lift both the state of emergency and a lockdown aimed at curtailing new infections simultaneously, Morocco World News reported.

Government spokesperson Said Amzazi said lockdown regulations would be eased depending on the epidemiological situation in each of Morocco’s regions.

The extension means citizens will still be required to adhere to rules such as wearing masks in public.

Citing a circular from the interior ministry, Middle East Online said exceptional travel permits may no longer be compulsory within cities, but would remain in place for movement between cities and regions.

Prime Minister Saad Dine El Otmani was due to present the government’s strategy for lifting the lockdown in parliament on Thursday.

Moroccan authorities introduced the lockdown on March 20, in line with the state of emergency, in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus which has affected more than 7.3 million people around the world since December.

The latest data shows that 7,493 people in Morocco have recovered from the virus while 210 have lost their lives, leaving the North African country with 734 active cases.

– African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa