The ministry called on citizens and media outlets, as well as stakeholders, not to contribute to the spread of rumors about cases of the novel coronavirus in Morocco.
Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Health published a press release saying that 19 suspected cases of the novel coronavirus have been detected so far in Morocco. Health authorities took blood samples to confirm the cases but found all 19 were negative.
“Under the surveillance and epidemiological surveillance system and the transparency policy, 19 suspected cases have been detected so far, but laboratory analyses have revealed that these cases are negative,” said the ministry.
The ministry said some news outlets are spreading false rumors about the spread of the virus in Morocco, aimed at causing panic and confusion among citizens. The statement called on citizens and the media, as well as all stakeholders, not to believe or pass on rumors relating to the coronavirus.
The health authority emphasized that they are the only source with the relevant knowledge and expertise to comment on the spread of the epidemic.
The global death toll from the COVID-19 rose from 2,772 on Wednesday to 2,809 on Thursday, while confirmed cases reached 82,483, up from 81,244 a day before.
The COVID-19 made its first appearance on the African continent when Egypt confirmed its first case earlier this month.
The second confirmed case was in Algeria when the country’s health ministry reported that an Italian man who arrived in the country on February 17 had been tested positive for the virus.
The emergence of the virus in Africa prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to express concerns about Africa’s ability to fight against and contain the epidemic.
In an emergency meeting Saturday with African health ministers at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Africa, said that the WHO has found critical gaps in the readiness of some countries across the continent.
Algeria is one of the countries the WHO has identified as a top priority for assistance in tackling the virus.
“Algeria has just announced the first case of COVID-19 in the WHO African region. The window of opportunity the continent has had to prepare for coronavirus disease is closing. All countries must ramp up their preparedness activities,” Moeti tweeted on Wednesday.
The WHO has promised to deploy a team of experts to Algeria to support health authorities.