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Morocco to restrict movement to slow down coronavirus, government says

Tourists wait to be repatriated to their countries as Morocco suspends flights to European countries over coronavirus (COVID-19) fears, at Marrakech airport, Morocco, March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal/File Photo

Morocco has declared a health emergency and will restrict movement across the country from 6 p.m. on Friday to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, the interior ministry said.

People may only leave their homes to buy food or medicine or go to work after receiving a permit from the authorities.

"The health emergency does not mean stopping the economy," said the interior ministry, noting that banks, fuel stations and other critical businesses will be able to operate.

The North African country has confirmed 63 cases of the coronavirus and two deaths. Most of the sick caught the virus abroad, but it has now also started to transmit within Moroccan cities.

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