Rabat, Morocco (Associated Press) – Moroccan authorities decided, on Wednesday, to impose a night curfew during the holy month of Ramadan due to the recent rise in cases of the new Coronavirus, as scientists announced the discovery of a new local type of virus.
Many Moroccans expressed their anger at the decision on social media, describing it as another blow to many businesses already struggling for survival, as well as to family gatherings that are an essential part of the holiday.
While the North African kingdom has one of the most successful vaccination programs in the region to date, it is also seeing a growth in coronavirus infections, especially in Casablanca, the largest city.
The curfew has started from 8 pm until 6 am since December, and the Moroccan government decided on Wednesday to extend it until the month of Ramadan, which begins on April 13 in Morocco.
Since observant Muslims do not eat or drink during the day during the month of Ramadan, cafes and restaurants rely on night business that is now banned due to the curfew.
Countries across the Middle East imposed some virus restrictions and curfews for Ramadan last year, and many are considering or renewing these restrictions this year.
Morocco has reported more than 499,000 cases of Covid-19 with 8,865 deaths.
The kingdom has conducted the largest number of vaccinations in Africa to date – 8.3 million doses to a population of 36 million people since the vaccination began on January 29. The per capita vaccination rate is higher than in some European countries that started a month ago, but fears are growing that vaccine supplies in Morocco are running out and the rate may slow.
Morocco uses vaccines from AstraZeneca and Chinese Sinopharm. Ultimately, millions of additional doses are expected from both companies as well as from the global COVAX program to provide vaccines to low- and middle-income countries.
Meanwhile, the National Scientific and Technical Committee of the Moroccan government announced about the Corona virus, the discovery of a new type of virus that was first discovered in the southern city of Ouarzazate. It was not immediately clear if it was linked to the recent spike in the number of infections in the kingdom.
Professor Azzedine Brahimi, committee member and director of the biotechnology laboratory at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in the capital, Rabat, said that the new alternative could be classified as “100% Moroccan.” A study conducted by Moroccan researchers on the spread of different variables.
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