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Morocco stops travel to 8 cities after spike in COVID-19 cases

A Moroccan health ministry worker disinfects a street in the capital Rabat on April 9, 2020 during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic crisis. (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP) (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)
A Moroccan health ministry worker disinfects a street in the capital Rabat on 9 April 2020 during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic crisis [FADEL SENNA/AFP]

Moroccan authorities announced late on Sunday the closure of eight cities in the north of the kingdom due to the rapid surge in COVID-19 cases, Anadolu Agency reported.

The Moroccan Ministries of Interior and Health said in a joint statement: "Taking into account the significant increase in the number of COVID-19 infections over the past few days, it has been decided that all movement from and to the cities of Tangier, Tetouan, Fez, Meknes, Casablanca, Berrechid, Settat and Marrakech will be prevented" as of the early hours of yesterday.

The statement added that the decision to close the eight cities was "based on the conclusions of daily monitoring and periodic evaluation of the epidemiological situation in our country; and as part of the strengthening of the measures taken to stem the spread of this pandemic."

According to the statement, the people's lack of respect for preventive measures such as social distancing, the use of masks, and sterilisation methods, despite their abundance in the markets has led to the surge in coronavirus cases.

Authorities called on all citizens to strictly adhere to these measures, warning violators of strict procedures, in accordance with the law.

To date Morocco has registered almost 21,000 coronavirus cases including 316 deaths.

READ: Morocco witnesses new blows to press freedom under Covid-19 securitisation

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