Morocco and Algeria have introduced measures to limit the risk of bedbug infestation, as France reportedly grapples with a surge in numbers of the blood-sucking insect.
The Moroccan health ministry “has taken all appropriate measures to limit the risk of introduction and spread of this insect on the national territory,” Moroccan state news agency MAP reported on Wednesday.
The ministry is reinforcing “health surveillance” at borders and is monitoring the health and environmental situation in “bedbug-affected areas,” MAP said.
It has also made a series of recommendations relating to international travel for citizens, MAP added.
The ministry urged citizens not to be influenced by rumors and not to exaggerate the assessment of the health risks linked to the introduction of bedbugs in Morocco, according to MAP.
“While reassuring citizens, the ministry urges them to avoid purchasing second-hand mattresses, furniture or clothing from countries where a large spread of bedbugs has been recorded,” MAP added.
The Algerian health ministry has also decided to implement health regulations and monitoring centers at its borders.
“Health monitoring and disinfection of aircraft, ships and land transport means,” as well as enhancing “epidemic surveillance,” the ministry said in a post on its Facebook page on Thursday.
Algerian authorities said over the weekend that 1.5 million foreign tourists have visited the country so far in 2023.
French government officials have urged for calm following reported bedbug sightings that went viral over the past days.
French Transport Minister Clément Beaune told CNN on Wednesday that the country has not been invaded by bedbugs and that every case that is flagged to authorities is being checked, stressing that there is “no surge” in numbers in public transport.
The French public health body, ANSES, told CNN on Thursday that there has been a gradual increase in infestations for about twenty years now, calling it an emerging phenomenon in France and almost everywhere in the world, but added that there is also “psychosis” created around the issue because of the media.
The National Institute for the Study and Control of Bedbugs (INELP) told CNN on Monday that the level of bedbug infestation in France is worse than in previous years but treatable.