After the detection of an Omicron case, Morocco will close its borders

In its fight against the spread of Covid-19, Omicron is forcing Morocco to take a step back. The first case of infection with this variant of the coronavirus has been detected in the country, prompting it to close its partially reopened borders soon.

“This first case of contamination by the new Omicron strain was detected in a Moroccan citizen whose state of health is stable and does not cause concern,” however reassured the Ministry of Health on Wednesday. The patient was placed under medical supervision in a hospital in Casablanca. According to the Minister of Health, Khalid Aït Taleb, the variant identified is local. “It is the result of a change in the city of Casablanca”.

A “meteoric spread”

The authorities have therefore decided to end from December 23 the system put in place to allow Moroccans stranded abroad to return to their country. This choice was made because of “the meteoric spread of the Omicron variant at the planetary level and its worrying progression in the European neighborhood of Morocco”, according to the interministerial committee for monitoring the Covid-19.

Announced Monday, the partial lifting of the closure of Morocco’s air borders, effective since November 29, was intended to allow “exceptionally” Moroccans trapped abroad to return to their country via Portugal, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. From December 23, passenger flights to the kingdom will again be banned. However, the government authorizes special repatriation flights to foreign countries, especially to Europe. However, tourism professionals are alarmed by the devastating impact of this new closure on this vital sector for the kingdom’s economy, already undermined by an unprecedented crisis for almost two years.

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Increase in cases since November 21

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health also urged the population to respect preventive measures and to be vaccinated to avoid any deterioration of the epidemiological situation. This call comes in reaction “to the abandonment, by a large number of citizens, of the main preventive measures of the virus as well as following the upward trend in the epidemiological curve during the last two weeks”, he said. worried the ministry.

The number of daily cases of contamination has been increasing since November 21 in Morocco. The increase is attributed to two main factors: non-compliance with barrier measures and non-adherence to the vaccination campaign, especially for the administration of the third dose, according to specialists interviewed by the information site Media24. A total of 22.8 million Moroccans received their 2nd dose of vaccine (62.5% of the population), 24.5 million the 1st (67%) and 2.1 million the 3rd. The goal is to immunize 80% of the population, or 30 million people.

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