With an increasing number of coronavirus cases, the North African country is expanding screening test capabilities to contain the spread of the virus.
The Hassan II Regional Hospital in Agadir is now able to carry out screening tests for the novel coronavirus, the regional health director, Keddar Rochdi, has announced.
Rochdi said that since April 14, the regional hospital’s microbiology laboratory has been using the reference technique for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in accordance with instructions from the health ministry.
The tests are carried out in coordination with the University Hospital Center (CHU-Agadir).
The health infrastructure under CHU will carry out tests to identify suspected cases in the Souss-Massa region along with three other regions in southern Morocco.
The regions to benefit from the CHU Agadir screening tests are Guelmim-Oued Noun, Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra, and Dakhla-Oued Ed Dahab.
Rochdi examined that the Ministry of Health mobilized a staff of medical experts and necessary medical equipment for the process.
The initiative seeks to reduce and alleviate psychological pressure among subjects waiting for test results. It seeks also to ensure the rapid management of potential patients with COVID-19.
In addition to Agadir’s hospital, the ministry allowed six public university hospital centers, two private clinics, and several military hospitals throughout the country to carry out screening tests to detect possible cases at their laboratories.
In the first phase of the virus, the ministry only allowed a limited series of laboratories to carry out COVID-19 tests, including the Pasteur Institute in Casablanca.
The ministry announced its decision to expand screening tests across the country as part of the country’s preparation to end confinement measures, and to rapidly evaluate more possible cases.
The Minister of Health, Khalid Ait Taleb, recommended that Morocco’s state of emergency, which will end on April 20, should be extended.
Morocco imposed the lockdown on March 20 to contain the spread of the virus. Health experts have explained that Morocco is now in the second phase of its outbreak.
To date, Morocco has confirmed 2,251 COVID-19 cases, including 128 fatalities and 248 recoveries.