Isolation, a tough measure for ‘List B’ travelers, but necessary for the health stability of the country

Since the gradual resumption of flights to Morocco from 15 June, a significant number of Moroccans living abroad have returned home this week. Nearly 120,000 flight reservations have been recorded in 24 hours (Sunday, 13 June), according to figures unveiled by Royal Air Maroc, and since the extraordinary proposals were announced following royal directives.

That said, there are a battery of measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus still circulating in the country, along with a gradual announcement of the opening of flights to and from Morocco. Thus, the classification of countries, List A and List B, was done based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, and on the basis of data published by the World Health Organization (WHO), or the countries themselves. The countries that fall on the two lists change on a daily basis, depending on the epidemiological situation as well as the conditions of access to the state.

For List A, it includes all countries with positive indicators in terms of controlling the epidemiological situation, especially the new versions. Travelers to these countries, whether Moroccans, originating from these countries, Moroccans or foreigners residing there, must have a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test of less than 48 hours, the ministry says, noting that provided that holders of foreign vaccination certificates would take advantage of similar benefits issued by the Moroccan authorities.

With respect to List B, this includes countries that are not concerned with the relief measures contained in List A, and which record the circulation of new forms of the virus, or do not keep up-to-date data on the epidemiological situation. Travelers from these countries must have a negative PCR test of less than 48 hours, and observe a 10-day medical isolation at one of the hotel establishments authorized by the competent authorities and whose list was unveiled recently.

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And it is this last situation that created a problem for MREs living in List B countries. The latter complain about the fact that they not only have to isolate themselves for ten days but also pay for their accommodation expenses. Hotel structures are designated for their quarantine period.

« We haven’t seen our families for more than a year and a half. The health crisis has been hard on everyone financially, even those living abroad. We cannot afford to come and spend our holidays with our families, with all the costs that go with it, and moreover, pay for ten days of isolation in a hotel. it’s unimaginableOpposed an MRE living in Oman on Facebook, country appearing in List B.

On social networks, videos calling for the lifting of this measure of MRE are numerous. Many MREs, who have already been vaccinated in their country of residence, believe that PCR testing is largely sufficient for their entry into Morocco. But scientists have a different opinion on this issue.

According to PR Moulay Mustafa Ennaji, virologist and director of the Virology Laboratory at Hassan II University in Casablanca and member of the Anti-Covid Scientific Committee, we must be very cautious especially in light of all the Covid-19 variants that are still circulating the world. Throughout, seeing that even if the person is vaccinated, it does not mean that they do not have the virus and that they can transmit it.

This member of the Anti-Covid Scientific Committee cites the example of Canada imposing on its citizens who want to return to their territory, and isolation for a specified period (5 to 10 days), apart from a negative PCR test. This isolation ensures that the virus is completely absent in the person, even if he or she has been vaccinated.

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He reminds us in the sense that a vaccinated person can still become infected, and as a result, he can still transmit the virus to other people. And it is the effect of immunity that then comes into play. Antibodies try to fight against the antigen, and the antigen tries to multiply. Either the antibodies take the lead and fight the virus or it’s the other way around. And it is a phenomenon known in immunology that gives rise to persistent diseases. And this isolation makes it possible to ensure that the virus is absent in the person’s body.“, he explains.

But according to another member of the Anti-Covid Vaccination Committee, who preferred to remain anonymous, “ If a person is vaccinated, a PCR test is sufficient, without isolation”. To allay any doubts, the Moroccan government preferred to retain the measure. “Draconian” In the eyes of the MRE, but essential for the health security of the citizens and maintenance of epidemiological stability in the country.

But as specified by the competent authorities, the access conditions of MRE in the State are updated daily as per the pandemic situation in the country and internationally.

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