Drones Spread in Morocco as Coronavirus Pandemic Continues to Spread

The main uses of flying machines include aerial surveillance of the population, dissemination of warning messages and disinfection of public spaces.

Morocco implements the use of drones across the board to combat the new Coronavirus, following a worldwide trend towards contactless solutions. “There’s a real passion: in just a few weeks, demand has tripled in Morocco and other countries in the region,” says Yassine Qamous, director of Droneway Morocco, which distributes the products of the Chinese world leader DJI across the African continent.

He believes that Morocco, which has been utilizing drones for several years now, “is one of the most advanced countries on the continent” in this field with a dedicated industrial base and a network of researchers and certified pilots.

For many years, restrictive administrative authorizations have limited civilian drones to a few specific uses, such as film shoots, the treatment of agricultural surfaces, the monitoring of solar panels or map surveys.

Night-time Parties with Neighbors

This all changed with the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic: in recent weeks, flying robots have appeared in several cities, where the authorities use them to disseminate alert messages, detect suspicious movements in the streets or flush out illegal gatherings on terraces.

The strict confinement orders introduced in mid-March are not always followed, with the local press reporting that neighbors hold night parties or perform collective prayers on rooftops, out of the reach of control patrols.

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