Morocco has imposed an entry ban on all travelers from China due to the soaring COVID-19 infection rate in the country following Beijing’s abrupt u-turn on its strict zero-COVID policy.
Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement that the entry ban would apply to all arrivals from China, regardless of their nationality, and will take effect from Jan. 3 until further notice.
“This exceptional measure in no way affects the sincere friendship between the two peoples nor the strategic partnership between the two countries to which the Kingdom remains firmly attached,” the ministry said.
The ban aims to prevent a new wave of contamination in the country, it stated, adding that Morocco “closely followed” the virus situation in China through regular and direct contact with the Chinese side.
Morocco also extended its state of emergency until Jan. 31 to allow local authorities to impose measures to tackle the virus spread. The African nation has continued to renew its state of emergency since adopting it in March 2020.
Morocco became the first nation to ban arrivals from China after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lifted its zero-COVID policy last month.
Other countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia, have only imposed entry curbs on travelers arriving from China, such as requiring them to take COVID-19 tests before departure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Dec. 28 mandated COVID testing for all visitors flying from China to the United States, citing the Chinese regime’s failure to provide “adequate and transparent epidemiological and viral genomic sequence data.”
The United States was among the first nations to bar entry of foreign nationals from China under the former Trump administration in January 2020 when the novel coronavirus began to emerge from China.
China’s COVID-19 Outbreak
The CCP abruptly eased its strict COVID-19 restrictions in December after historic discontent over the draconian curbs. But without adequate planning and measures for a graduated retreat from the policy, the health system was left ill-equipped for a rapid rise in cases among a population that had little natural immunity to the virus.
Frontline services in China quickly became overcrowded, pharmacy shelves stripped bare, and hospitals stretched. Law enforcement facilities and judiciary shuttered.
As many as 37 million people per day were estimated to be contracting the virus in China, according to leaked minutes from a meeting of the country’s top health body confirmed by multiple news outlets.
The cumulative number of infections in the first 20 days of December likely reached 248 million—nearly 18 percent of the population—officials said during the National Health Commission’s internal meeting on Dec. 21, only 13 days after the regime rolled back some of its toughest anti-COVID measures.
The figure is exponentially higher than the regime’s official virus tally, and if accurate, it would mean that China’s outbreak is the largest in the world.
Lisa Bian and Sean Tseng contributed to this report.
From The Epoch times