Morocco's daily case count is declining, and the health ministry is developing a strategy to ease the lockdown after the state of emergency ends on May 20.
Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Health has confirmed 23 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 3,209 as of 6 p.m. on April 21.
In the past 24 hours, the ministry has announced 163 new cases.
Health authorities have also confirmed 43 new recoveries in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recovered COVID-19 patients to 393. The country’s recovery rate stands at 73.04%.
Two people succumbed to the disease in the past 24 hours, pushing Morocco’s COVID-19 death toll to 145.
The virus is also spreading quickly in the Fez-Meknes, Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, and Rabat-Sale-Kenitra regions.
The majority of the new COVID-19 cases have been detected at several industrial and production hotspots throughout the country.
A previously-detected hotspot in Casablanca recorded 18 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing its total to 49 cases, while two hotspots in Tangier recorded 14 new cases, bringing their combined total to 94 cases.
Health authorities also detected a new COVID-19 epicenter in Ouarzazate, southern Morocco.
Daily monitoring of people who made contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients remains the most effective method of detecting new cases. In the past 24 hours, monitoring detected 146 out of 163 of the new cases, or 90%.
Since the start of the outbreak on March 2, Moroccan health authorities performed 14,891 medical tests on suspected COVID-19 cases that came back negative.
The majority of COVID-19 patients who are currently undergoing treatment (78%) have shown almost no symptoms. Around 17% suffer from mild symptoms, while only 5% are in critical condition and undergoing treatment in intensive care units.
Morocco’s intensive care capacity is “more than enough” for COVID-19 patients, senior health official Mohamed Lyoubi assured during a press briefing today.
“Only 14% of the country’s intensive care capacity is currently occupied,” he said.
On April 18, the Moroccan government decided to extend the lockdown, initially set to end on April 20, for an additional month. The emergency state is now effective until May 20.
Morocco’s Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb announced yesterday that his department is planning to develop a strategy that will help the country gradually ease its lockdown after the state of emergency extension draws to a close.
“The lockdown will be lifted gradually at the national level, since the epidemiological situation remains stable, but differs from one region to another” due to the different COVID-19 data in each region, he said.