The quarantine that the Moroccan authorities placed eight cities in early this week has led to nearly two hundred road accidents, according to figures published Wednesday.
In the panic caused by the announcement, many people set out to get to or leave a specific city soon. In traffic this led to enormous traffic jams and numerous crashes on Sunday and Monday, resulting in fifteen deaths and more than three hundred injured, including nearly twenty seriously injured.
The Ministry of Transport notes that the number of road casualties is not very much higher than ‘normal’ at this time of the year.
The government suddenly came on Sunday evening with the quarantine measure for the eight cities including Casablanca, Marrakesh and Tangier.
This was in the run-up to the Islamic festival Aïd al-Adha or Festival of Sacrifice, at the end of this week. Then many usually go out for family gatherings. The measure sparked an unusual amount of criticism of government policy in the Moroccan media.
The government was called irresponsible and ill-considered and would play a dangerous game by announcing a quarantine only 5 hours before.
The country of 36 million inhabitants has so far suffered relatively little from the virus from China that turned up via Italy. It had approximately 22,000 infections and 334 deaths.