Moroccan prison is coronavirus hotspot

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Sixty-eight people, mostly staff, have come down with coronavirus at a prison in southern Moroccan city Ouarzazate, prison authorities said, without reporting any deaths.

Earlier this month Morocco released 5 645 prisoners – some in poor health – to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading in prisons as happened elsewhere.

At the Ouarzazate facility, six inmates were among those who contracted coronavirus and all were undergoing testing, a prison statement said.

Morocco confirmed 3 186 cases of the COVID-19 lung disease including 144 deaths. It imposed a lockdown on public life extended until May 20 and made wearing face masks in public compulsory.

Morocco’s prime minister said the rise in cases despite lockdown restrictions is due to transmission in families, factories and commercial centres, where food shops are open.