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Coronavirus : The infection of 15 people who visited Egypt worries the inhabitants of Meknes

Fifteen people who visited Egypt in March have tested positive for the virus, bringing the number of Covid-19 infections in the city of Meknes to 22. According to the city’s mayor, the 15 people are part of a group of men and women who went on an organized trip between February 25 and March 10.

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On Tuesday, Morocco’s Health Ministry announced that 15 people have tested positive for coronavirus at the city of Meknes, after they all returned from a trip to an Arab country.

Speaking to Yabiladi, Wednesday, the Mayor of Meknes Abdellah Banou said that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the city has currently reached 24, adding that «20 of them are currently at the Sidi Said Hospital while four others are at the Military Hospital».

«15 of these Covid-19 patients have been to Egypt, while 9 of them returned from England and Spain», he reported.

The 15 confirmed cases have all been to Egypt in an organized trip, the Mayor said, adding that one of them «have died yesterday». «After the health authorities confirmed the first infection, the other travelers who were part of the same group were identified and advised to self-isolate and call the authorities once noticing coronavirus symptoms», he added.

The Mayor explained that «the people that were in close contact with them have also been quarantined. After that, 14 of them tested positive for the virus, bringing the number of confirmed cases from that group to 15. The rest are still waiting for the results of the tests they underwent, expected to be released today».

Testing positive after a trip to Egypt

For his part, Benaissa Benshan, head of the Ismaili Association of Retired teachers in Meknes, who organized the trip during the period between February 25 to March 10, told Yabiladi that «58 people took part to that trip, including [him] and another official from the association».

«About an hour before our flight landed at the Casablanca airport, they handed us papers, to answer questions about whether we had visited China. And when we arrived at the airport we were not subjected to any examination», he said.

The Meknes-based man stressed that three days after returning to Meknes, «a 40-year-old woman started showing symptoms and when her husband called the competent authorities, they told him that Egypt is not considered as an epicenter for the virus».

«Things got worse and her condition deteriorated, and she was taken to the military hospital after her infection got confirmed», he added.

The president of the association explained that the health authorities asked the rest of the group to «buy thermometers, check their body temperature daily and call if there is something abnormal».

«It was confirmed that 16 people had the virus, two are from Fez, and 14 others from Meknes, one of them died last night», meaning after the confirmed cases and deaths were announced yesterday by the health ministry.

Benaissa explained that he had completed the quarantine period yesterday, he had received the results of the tests that were negative. He also regretted the fact that some internet users have «shared the addresses and names of those infected in Meknes as well as their photos».

Meanwhile, one of the women who traveled to Egypt alongside her husband with the same group told Yabiladi that «a few days after returning to Morocco, [she and her husband] received a call from the health authorities that asked [them] to self-isolate for 14 days».

The 68-year-old woman, who is staying with her 75-year-old husband, added that after completing the quarantine yesterday, she tested negative for the virus. Her husband, on the other hand, is still awaiting the results, she said.

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