The Ministry of Health considers the increase in cases “natural and expected.”
Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Health confirmed 28 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 602 as of 6 p.m. on March 31.
The ministry also reported three new deaths, bringing Morocco’s COVID-19 death toll to 36.
The number of recovered patients in Morocco has reached 24, with the ministry reporting 10 new recoveries.
Since the start of the outbreak, Moroccan health authorities have carried out 2,298 tests for suspected cases of COVID-19 that yielded negative results.
Health authorities have also monitored 4,980 people who were in contact with COVID-19 patients, and 1,868 have finished the monitoring period without showing any symptoms.
Moroccan laboratories currently conduct diagnoses based on DNA testing, the most precise method. The method requires more than 24 hours to obtain results. However, health authorities are studying the possibility of adopting new testing methods in the future.
The ministry detected the majority of cases in the Casablanca-Settat region (176), followed by Marrakech-Safi (107).
Rabat-Sale-Kenitra and Fez-Meknes each have 105 cases, while Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima has 39.
Casablanca is the most-infected city with 169 cases, followed by Marrakech (102 cases), Rabat (58), Meknes (49), and Fez (36).
Around 55% of COVID-19 patients are male, while 45% are female. Their average age is 54 years, with the youngest patient 2 months old and the oldest 96 years old.
The majority of the patients (85%) suffer from mild symptoms, while only 15% are in critical condition.
Morocco’s COVID-19 deaths are largely concentrated in Casablanca-Settat, Marrakech-Safi, and Fez-Meknes, with each region recording eight deaths.
The Rabat-Sale-Kenitra region has reported four coronavirus-related deaths, while the Oriental region confirmed three.
Beni Mellal-Khenifra and Souss-Massa recorded two fatalities each, while Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima has only one death.
The average age of COVID-19 victims in Morocco is 62 years. One-third of the deceased contracted the virus abroad, while two-thirds were infected locally.
Commenting on the number of recoveries being lower than fatalities, the Director of the Epidemiology Department at the Ministry of Health, Mohamed Lyoubi, said that his department has a rigorous list of criteria for declaring recoveries: “If we only cared about the patient feeling better, we would have already announced the recovery for more than 80% of the cases.”
The announcement of a recovery comes only after performing two medical tests on the patient that yield negative results, explained Lyoubi.
The criteria ensure that the recovering patients cannot contaminate people they make contact with.
Morocco remains in the second phase of its fight against COVID-19, focusing mainly on containing the spread of the virus in the country.