The health official thanked all health professionals for their patience and selflessness to assist COVID-19 patients across the country.
In a television show aired on 2M on April 13, El Youbi said that the COVID-19 situation does not surprise the country’s health experts.
“We were expecting this and getting ready for the situation since the outbreak of the pandemic in Hubei [China],” he said.
The health official explained that Morocco still has the pandemic under control, thanks to its quick preventive measures that softened the severity and danger of the country’s outcomes.
El Youbi emphasized that Morocco is attempting to avoid the third phase, which is the critical stage. The third phase is the stage at which COVID-19 cases spread quickly with a high daily number of deaths.
As of 10 a.m. April 13, Morocco confirmed 1,746 COVID-19 cases, including 196 recoveries and 120 deaths.
El Youbi explained that it is still early to give forecasts on the efficiency of the state of emergency, which Morocco imposed on March 20 to contain the virus.
The pandemic’s development in the country does indicate that COVID-19 cases would have increased if the government did not impose the state of emergency and nationwide lockdown.
Through preventive measures that Morocco took into account even three weeks before other countries, the North African country managed to take control over the pandemic, the health official emphasized.
“We managed to control the numbers of COVID-19 cases in the country,” he stressed.
El Youbi also referenced the number of tests that the country carries out on a daily basis.
He said that each of the country’s accredited laboratories carries out tests, conducting more than 300 on a daily basis.
El Youbi explained that the country is prioritizing detection of COVID-19 cases in an early stage to help patients recover.
The country’s method of testing aligns with its objectives and plans to control cases, El Youbi elaborated.
The health official also emphasized that it is impossible to compare pandemic situations between countries, as each country has its own methodway to collect data.
Remarking on the pandemic targets, the health official explained that it is wrong to make assumptions that the pandemic will claim elderly lives.
“The oldest patient in the country was a lady aged 96 and she recovered,” he said. He added that some patients spent 15 days in emergency rooms yet eventually recovered.
El Youbi explained in his interview that all people should take preventive measures seriously, including people with COVID-19.
He said that people following preventive measures challenge the pandemic and limit its spread, emphasizing that face masks are necessary in this situation.
The wearing of masks is important since it helps limit the spread of the virus, El Lyoubi said, adding that people should abide by all prescribed hygienic preventive measures to contain the virus.
Morocco made the wearing of masks in public mandatory effective April 7.
The health official also commented on the use of chloroquine, stating that all medicines, including those used without prescriptions, come with side effects.
“We believe that chloroquine and other medicines we use in the treatment of COVID-19 patients have more positive effects than side effects,” he explained.
Morocco decided to use the anti-malarial medicine chloroquine in March to treat COVID-19 infections in the country, after tests and consultations with many health experts, he recalled.
El Youbi said health officials are monitoring patients closely to intervene in case patients experience side effects from the medication, such as fever or minor diarrhea.
The health official also thanked all doctors and medical personnel for their patience and selflessness to control the pandemic and assist patients throughout the crisis.