At 12:45 on Tuesday, March 10, Morocco reached a sad milestone in recording its first COVID-19 virus-related casualty.
An 89-year-old woman died of the virus after being in critical condition for a week. The woman contracted COVID-19 Italy in February and after returning to Morocco, she became the second recorded case of the virus in the country.
While in quarantine in Casablanca, it was clear the patient was under threat because of a chronic disease that weakened her immune system. The patient was transferred to Intensive Care where she remained until she passed away.
Morocco’s Ministry of Health affirmed it has identified any person who the patient was in contact with, and placed them under quarantine for 14 days.
The patient was classified as a ‘high risk’ patient, which includes older adults and people with chronic medical conditions that weaken the immune system.
Health organizations recommend that people at higher risk should avoid public transport, international flights, large crowds, and stay at home as much as possible. Relatives of at-risk people can assist them by avoiding physical contact and helping them stock up on essential supplies, such as medicine for their condition.
On the same day, Morocco recorded its third case of the virus. A French tourist sought medical assistance after having trouble breathing on March 8 and tested positive for the coronavirus at the Pasteur Institute in Casablanca. The patient is in stable condition, Morocco World News reports.
The Moroccan government appears to be taking the crisis seriously, banning large public events and even jailing a man from northern Morocco for spreading false information in order to incite panic. As the Moroccan government responds, so has national airline Royal Air Maroc, which has decided to suspend all flights to Italy.
Any concerned Moroccans in need of information are encouraged to contact Morocco’s Ministry of Health (+212 801 004 747) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (+212 537 663 300).