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Morocco Arrests 450 Individuals Violating Emergency State Measures

Morocco Arrests 450 Individuals Violating Emergency State Measures

Sunday, 29 March, 2020 - 07:15
Tourists wait to be repatriated to their countries as Morocco suspends flights to European countries over coronavirus (COVID-19) fears, at Marrakech airport, Morocco. (Reuters)

Moroccan authorities have so far prosecuted 56 individuals over spreading COVID-19 fake news, the public prosecutor's office said on Saturday. They have also arrested 450 others for violating measures of the state of health emergency.

Hicham Balaoui, secretary-general of the presidency of the public prosecutor's office, said that the public prosecution had been firm regarding the enforcement of provisions related to the health emergency state.

Balaoui said the draft laws issued over the quarantine period aim to guarantee the health and safety of citizens, while respecting their constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms. The texts stipulate imposing sanctions against those who violate the precautionary measures laid down by authorities to curb infections with the new disease.

Those who disobey the protective measures during the quarantine period could face jail terms from one to three months and fines from 300 to 1300 dirhams.

Meanwhile, Morocco on Saturday announced 26 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 359. The death toll from the novel coronavirus has increased by 3 to 24, while 13 patients have recovered, said the Moroccan Ministry of Health in a briefing.

The Ministry revealed that the death rate age-group is 66 years, for cases suffering from chronic diseases and they were checked in to the hospital in critical condition. Women represent 42 percent of the total cases and men represent 58 percent.

Further, the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) has categorically denied the legitimacy of two video sequences which depicted individuals throwing stones at elements of security forces.

The social media user who posted the videos indicated that a group of people attacked the police in Casablanca and Meknes in response to COVID-19 containment measures.

Technical investigations have shown that the videos are old and that they have been distorted, through a montage, said the DGSN in a statement.

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