With the new virology center, the IMP will work towards developing new diagnostic techniques for highly pathogenic germs.
Rabat – The Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and the Pasteur Institute of Morocco (IPM) signed an agreement to improve Morocco’s capacity for virology research in order to better enable the country to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the support of the OCP Group and the OCP Foundation, UM6P and the IPM are set to combine their resources to contribute to the development of Morocco’s virology research capacity.
The agreement falls under the framework of the national effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in Morocco, UM6P announced in a statement.
The fruits of the agreement are set to include a new medical virology center for highly pathogenic germs that the IPM will use to develop new diagnostic techniques. The agreement also promises the creation of a laboratory to facilitate in-house work on virology research at UM6P.
The IPM virology center and UM6P research lab intend to support the emergence of an entrepreneurial ecosystem for the commercialization of research results and to strengthen the biomedical industry in Morocco, the statement continued.
The Pasteur Institute in Casablanca has been at the forefront of Morocco’s fight against COVID-19. In the early stages of the virus outbreak in the country, IPM was one of few COVID-19 testing sites. Now that the country has diversified its testing capacity, the IPM can dedicate more of its efforts to further advancing diagnostic and detection methods.
UM6P has similarly played an active role in national efforts to curb the novel virus outbreak, contributing to the production of Morocco’s first locally-produced automatic ventilator and infrared thermometer. UMGP also helped manufacture 500 ventilators for COVID-19 patients in a collaborative effort based in Casablanca.
As of May 8, Morocco has recorded a total of 5,711 COVID-19 cases, including 2,324 recoveries and 185 deaths. The majority of new cases are detected in individuals under daily monitoring by the Ministry of Health.
Since February, Moroccan health authorities have performed 59,871 COVID-19 tests, including 54,160 that came back negative. In late April, Morocco increased its testing capacity to over 1,000 tests per day.
Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani is confident the pandemic is largely “under control” in the country.
The official said during a press conference yesterday that Morocco’s COVID-19 response has prevented 200 virus-related deaths in the country per day. At present, Morocco has a 3.3% COVID-19 fatality rate, while its recovery rate stands at 40.7%. Both rates indicate that Morocco is outperforming global averages.