The acquisition of new beds and medical equipment aims to prepare Morocco for various scenarios of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rabat – In response to the spread of the novel coronavirus, Morocco is set to increase the intensive care capacity of its hospitals from 1,640 beds to 3,000 beds in the next few weeks, announced Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani.
El Othmani made the announcement Friday, March 27 during an exceptional meeting with other senior officials to discuss the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Morocco.
The acquisition of new beds and ventilators aims to strengthen Moroccan hospitals and their ability to provide intensive care for thousands of people simultaneously, in case of a major outbreak.
Medical staff and officials from the Ministry of Health are actively preparing for various eventualities, assured El Othmani.
The new intensive care beds are part of a series of acquisitions approved by the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Administration Reform.
On Friday, the ministry allocated MAD 2 billion ($203 million) to purchase medical and hospital equipment.
The budget will cover the costs of over 1,000 recovery beds, 500 ventilators, 100,000 blood collection kits, and x-ray scanners, among other medical supplies.
The ministry will also purchase a set of pharmaceutical materials, medical consumables, and medical gases.
Military medicine will also play a major role when it joins efforts with its civilian counterpart for the fight against COVID-19, said El Othmani during the meeting.
On March 22, King Mohammed VI called on military officials to ensure that “military medicine takes part jointly with its civilian counterpart in the delicate mission of fighting the pandemic.”
With 358 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of March 28 at 8 a.m., Morocco remains in the first phase of its response to the pandemic. The country will move onto stage two of the fight when the figure exceeds 500.
So far, Morocco has implemented a series of unprecedented measures to keep the coronavirus spread under control, including the declaration of a state of health emergency and a national lockdown to restrict citizens’ movement.