Morocco opens field hospital after spike in virus cases

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A dozen ambulances were stationed in Moulay Bousselham, above, one of the quarantined towns, ready to be dispatched to pick up confirmed cases. (AFP)
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Morocco reported just over 9,800 cases and 213 deaths from the coronavirus. (AFP)
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Updated 21 June 2020

Morocco opens field hospital after spike in virus cases

  • Morocco reported more than 500 cases on Friday, mainly in eastern Kenitra province
  • Country reported just over 9,800 cases and 213 deaths from the coronavirus

MOULAY BOUSSELHAM, Morocco: A new field hospital in eastern Morocco will from Sunday receive around 700 COVID-19 patients following a sharp spike in infections in the kingdom, the government said.
Morocco reported a record single-day rise in novel coronavirus cases on Friday after an outbreak was detected in fruit packing plants in eastern Kenitra province, prompting Rabat to tighten restrictions in the region.
The North African kingdom reported more than 500 cases on Friday, mainly in Kenitra, having recorded on average fewer than 100 new COVID-19 infections daily since confirming its first cases in early March.
Authorities closed facilities, tested workers and launched an investigation to “establish responsibility” for the outbreak, Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit said, as cited by official news agency MAP.
The field hospital will receive from Sunday “around 700 registered cases,” he added.
Strawberry fields in Kenitra — usually busy with workers harvesting at this time of year — were deserted at the weekend, an AFP photographer said.
Several towns in the region were placed under quarantine and screenings were carried out among residents, who were asked to go out only in cases of “extreme necessity.”
A dozen ambulances were stationed in Moulay Bousselham, one of the quarantined towns, ready to be dispatched to pick up confirmed cases.
Morocco, with a population of 34 million, has reported just over 9,800 cases and 213 deaths from the coronavirus.
On June 9, authorities announced a gradual lifting of restrictions in force since mid-March, though measures remain in place in major cities and a public health state of emergency has been extended until July 10.
Wearing masks in public is obligatory, gatherings are prohibited and mosques, cinemas and theaters are closed, while restaurants and cafes are open but limited to take-away orders.
The kingdom’s borders remain closed “until further notice.”


US president awards Kuwait’s emir with rare military decoration

Updated 18 September 2020

US president awards Kuwait’s emir with rare military decoration

  • The award was accepted on behalf of the emir by his son Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah
  • The honor was granted in recognition of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s “great efforts” and the important role he plays in the region and the world

LONDON: US President Donald Trump on Friday presented Kuwait’s emir with a rare military award during a private ceremony at the White House.
The Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander is a prestigious decoration that can only be bestowed by the American president and was last awarded in 1991.
The honor was granted in recognition of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s “great efforts” and the important role he plays in the region and the world, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.
It also reflected the “distinguished and historic” partnership between Kuwait and the US and came in advance of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, KUNA added.
The award was accepted on behalf of the emir by his son Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah.

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