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Morocco: Campaign to counterattack UAE-sponsored electronic files, failure to contain spread of COVID-19

A general view of empty Hassan Mosque and it's surroundings during curfew as a precaution against the new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Rabat, Morocco on 1 April 2020. [Jalal Morchidi - Anadolu Agency]
A general view of empty Hassan Mosque and it's surroundings during curfew as a precaution against the new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Rabat, Morocco on 1 April 2020. [Jalal Morchidi - Anadolu Agency]

Media sources and activists in Morocco have launched a campaign on social media to respond to the United Arab Emirate (UAE)'s "electronic files attack" targeting the country by spreading rumours.

"A number of Twitter accounts have targeted Morocco and its government," revealed Ghassan Bin Al-Shiheb, a researcher specialising in communication platforms.

It is noteworthy that the UAE-sponsored electronic files claimed that: "The Moroccan government has failed to contain the spread of COVID-19, and have no interest in protecting the population."

The researcher explained in a study he conducted earlier that: "These Twitter accounts had previously attacked Qatar and Turkey, while constantly praising the UAE."

Al-Shiheb added that: "80 per cent of these Twitter accounts were created on the same day and at a particular date."

In response to the attack, Moroccan media figures and citizens launched the hashtag "Thank you Othmani", which went viral.

READ: Despite drastic measures, Covid-19 exposes educational inequalities in Morocco 

Moroccan journalist Mohamed Lachhab announced that Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani: "Honoured the kingdom with his wise and strict management of the epidemic crisis."

A number of media professionals and activists have also circulated pictures of Othmani and King Mohammed VI, expressing their pride in the decisions taken to confront the pandemic.

On Monday, Othmani confirmed that the pre-emptive measures taken by Rabat to confront the virus had saved thousands of lives.

He explained that one of the preventive measures undertaken by the state included shutting down schools and universities, providing financial support to the needy and those who lost their jobs, in addition to other steps related to helping the elderly, sheltering the homeless, and supporting the employees who were forced to stay at home.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Moroccan Ministry of Health announced that the death toll due to COVID-19 infections had increased to 127, after recording a new death case, while the number of those infected with the virus reached 1988, after the detection of 100 new cases.

On 3 March, the ministry recorded the first case of infection with the virus of a citizen arriving to Casablanca from Italy.

On 19 March, the authorities declared a state of public health emergency and restricted movement in the country until 20 April, as part of measures to control the spread of the virus.

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AfricaCoronavirusMiddle EastMoroccoNewsUAE
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