A joint press release from ministries of interior and agriculture announced that authorities have closed seven livestock markets across Morocco for failing to comply with sanitary measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision comes after photos and videos circulating online exposed breaches and violations in livestock souks (markets) across Morocco as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country continues to increase.
The statement said the ministries decided to close the livestock souks on the basis of observations and recommendations from the local markets monitoring commissions, in accordance with the guide the two ministries published jointly on the subject.
The guide warned that all farmers and citizens should abide by all of the preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and the wearing of masks.
The ministries said the souks were closed for non-compliance with the required health measures.
The list of souks includes Souk A Had in Sidi Bouknadel in Rabat’s twin city, Sale, Souk El Arba El Aounat in the province of Sidi Bennour (Casablanca-Settat region), and Souk Had Lfraita in the province of El Kelaa des Sraghna in the Marrakech-Safi region.
Authorities in the Fez-Meknes region closed three souks, while one souk is now closed in the region of Beni Mellal-Khenifra.
The statement warned that services of the two ministries remain mobilized to ensure compliance with the sanitary conditions and the measures required at the level of the souks, the control of transport of animals intended for Eid, and the respect of sanitary measures during Eid Al Adha.
“Preventive sanitary measures to be respected have been published in a practical guide which has been widely disseminated,” the ministries said.
Videos and photos online show citizens not wearing face masks at souks. The contents also show people not respecting social distances.
The government is taking immediate actions due to the increase in the number of daily COVID-19 cases. In the last few days, the daily count of cases reported ranges between 800 and 500.
The number of COVID-19 related deaths has increased in recent days. On July 28, the country reported 11 fatalities, bringing the number of deaths to 327.