Cancellation of Festivals and Fairs

Immediately after the announcement of the first Coronavirus infection in Morocco, the authorities canceled the 15th edition of the International Agricultural Show in Meknes (SIAM), which was to be held from 14 to 19 April. This preventive measure against the epidemic which is raging in many countries is likely to affect other sporting, cultural and artistic events, including the Mawazine Festival and certain sporting events such as football matches, which could take place without an audience.

The management of the Doukkala International Festival for Art and Culture announced in a press release that the next edition of this event will be postponed until June, especially as an artistic delegation from Italy is among the guests at this event.

In a statement distributed to the national media, the National Steering Committee, created since the announcement of the cases of infection by the Coronavirus in order to monitor the epidemiological situation at the international level and take the necessary preventive measures in Morocco, urged all travelers returning from countries where the virus has spread, not to go to public places with dense gatherings, to monitor their temperature daily for 14 days, and to go to a health center as soon as the slightest symptom appears.

The committee also called on citizens to participate vigorously in the effort to combat the virus by complying with the general health safety standards recommended by the Ministry of Health, which include regular hand washing with soap and water, using antiseptics when necessary, covering the mouth and nose with a disposable mask when coughing or sneezing, avoiding touching the nose or mouth with dirty hands, and avoiding direct contact with people suffering from respiratory infections. Ventilation of public places and spaces, such as schools, mosques and offices, and postponing unnecessary travel to areas where the virus is spreading are also strongly recommended.

Morocco has taken many precautions since the outbreak was first announced, including the activation of health checks at international ports and airports and at land entry points, and the creation of a “traveler’s health card”, which collects a wide range of information, such as date of arrival, flight number, transit city, address and whether the traveller has been to China, in order to enable early detection of possible infected persons entering Morocco. The kingdom has also equipped itself with tools for viral confirmation by national reference laboratories, while strengthening the reception capacity of hospital units and designating a reference hospital in each region, where possible cases of infection could be admitted.

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