Morocco reports record number of novel coronavirus cases

AFP , Sunday 5 Jul 2020

Boys play soccer as the sun sets on a reopened beach after lockdown measures were lifted in Rabat, Morocco, Friday, June 26, 2020. (Photo: AP)

Morocco reported Sunday 698 additional novel coronavirus infections, the highest one-day increase since the outbreak began in early March, with numerous cases discovered in a port city factory.

The new figures bring the official total in the North African kingdom to 14,132 infections and 234 deaths, according to the health ministry.

The majority of the new infections were detected in a fish canning factory in the southern port city of Safi.

The city was quarantined overnight Saturday to Sunday and its around 300,000 inhabitants placed under a total lockdown, media reports Sunday quoted local authorities as saying.

Morocco, with a population of around 35 million, eased virus-related restrictions on June 25, reopening cafes, restaurants, hotels and sports halls. It also allowed domestic tourism and inter-city travel.

Authorities had earlier in June begun to lift lockdown measures put in place to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic's spread in mid-March.

However, a public health state of emergency has been extended until July 10, mask-wearing continues to be mandatory and borders will remain closed until further notice.

Half a dozen towns remain under strict measures due to "work-related" virus outbreaks, notably in the west of the country where hundreds of cases were detected on strawberry farms in June.

Short link: