Morocco’s government extends coronavirus lockdown

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Moroccan employees work in the new Renault factory in Melloussa, 30 km (19 miles) from Tangiers, file. REUTERS/Stringer
A pharmacist wears a mask next to a door covered in plastic to avoid contamination in Casablanca, Morocco, Friday March 27, 2020.
AP Photo

Morocco will extend lockdown measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus for another month until May 20, the government said on Saturday.

The decision was made by the government council as the number of coronavirus cases rose to 2670, including 137 deaths and 298 recoveries as of Saturday morning.

Lockdown conditions imposed on March 20 mean people are only allowed to go out to buy food or medicine, and to staff some key jobs. Schools, mosques, non-essential shops and entertainment venues have all been closed.

Morocco has made wearing masks mandatory with those who fail to do so risking jail terms and fines.

The country has been paying wages to those unable to work and deferred taxes and loans for small businesses to ease the economic pain related to the lockdown measures. The country’s economy is forecast to contract by 3.7% in 2020, according to the IMF’s forecasts.

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