Pan-African Parliament Welcomes King Mohammed VI’s COVID-19 Initiative
Many countries and international media have positively reacted to the Moroccan COVID-19 response model under King Mohammed VI's instructions since the outbreak of pandemic. The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) was among the organizations that touted Morocco’s preventive measures and issued a press release on April 20 to welcome the country’s actions, including King Mohammed VI’s recent proposal of a continental response to overcome the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.
In the press release, the PAP welcomed the King’s initiative and his “willingness to share knowledge and technology with the rest of the continent” amid the “extraordinarily overwhelming” health crisis. PAP added that African countries have mobilized to overcome the “unprecedented health war as a collective.” The press release comes a week after King Mohammed VI held phone conversations on April 13 with the President of Cote d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara and the President of Senegal Macky Sall to discuss the challenges facing the continent. During the discussions, the King proposed an African Heads of State initiative aimed at establishing an operational framework to accompany African countries in the various phases of the management of the pandemic. Both Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal warmly received the King’s pan-African proposal. After the call, the Senegalese president issued a press release to thank the King for the “happy initiative.” Sall expressed his determination to work for the “success of the process, which will soon be the subject of a video conference between the head of state and government of the countries concerned,” according to the statement.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 on March 2, Morocco intensified measures to contain the virus, which has killed 143 in the country and hundreds of thousands more around the world. The coronavirus pandemic is rapidly evolving in Africa, with more than 22,000 cases and 2,128 deaths as of April 20. Morocco was among the first countries to suspend international flights, maritime travel, and border crossings to contain the spread of the virus. Morocco declared a state of emergency and imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 20, initially set to end on April 20. The government agreed on April 18 to implement a one-month extension, and the lockdown is now effective until May 20.The government considers COVID-19 to be under control in Morocco but continues to emphasize the importance of respecting the state of emergency measures, including the orders to remain home and wear protective masks in public.