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10 Mar 2020 | 04:38 AM UTC

Morocco: Government suspends all travel to Italy March 10 /update 3

Moroccan Prime Minister announces suspension of travel to Italy amid ongoing global COVID-19 outbreak March 10; follow authority directives

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MAR

Event

On Tuesday, March 10, Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani announced the suspension of all travel to and from Italy amid the ongoing global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The decision will remain in effect until further notice. The announcement follows Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's announcement on Monday, March 9, restricting the movement of Italians across the nation until at least Friday, April 3.

Moroccan authorities also canceled sport and cultural activities nationwide on Sunday, March 1, to limit the spread of COVID-19. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

As of March 10, Italy has 9172 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 463 related deaths. Morocco has confirmed two cases.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at the global level.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.  

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, individuals are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.