The production has allowed the country to meet its national demand and export excess supplies to European countries in need.
Rabat – Morocco’s surgical face mask production has currently reached 10 million units per day, with 23 factories operating day and night, Minister of Industry and Trade Moulay Hafid Elalamy announced.
The country has started to export part of the local production after it became sufficient for domestic demand, Elalamy said during a meeting on May 11 at the House of Representatives to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Moroccan industry.
To ensure Morocco continues to meet national demand, the country has a strategic stock of no less than 50 million masks. The Ministry of Industry plans to distribute the stock to sales outlets after the nationwide lockdown, scheduled to end on May 20.
Although the ministry has allowed the export of face masks, export operations will be suspended if national production does not reach the demand in national markets after the lockdown, Elalamy said.
Morocco also produces two million cloth face masks every day, but due to domestic needs, this type of mask will not be exported.
The country may decide to export protective medical gear only after it reaches self-sufficiency, Elalamy stressed.
Ethanol, an essential product for the manufacturing of disinfectants, also maintains sufficient stocks. Morocco’s ethanol production plant, rebuilt in Kenitra in mid-March to ensure the country’s self-sufficiency in ethanol, is meeting its objective, the minister said.
Elalamy then presented the results of the “Imtiyaz” program, launched to finance projects that can help the country curb the COVID-19 spread.
The program has so far financed 34 innovative projects with a total budget of MAD 11.5 million ($1.15 million), including MAD 10 million ($1 million) for medium-sized businesses and MAD 1.5 million ($150,000) for small businesses. The projects have earned 17 international innovation certificates.
The Ministry of Industry is working to monitor the implementation of safety measures in Moroccan production units to avoid potential COVID-19 outbreaks, Elalamy continued. His department, in partnership with the ministries of the interior, health, and labor, has carried out in-depth examinations of 1,590 businesses.
Authorities mainly monitor the cleanliness and ventilation of workspaces, the availability of disinfectants, the use of masks, and the monitoring of employees’ body temperatures.
At the end of his presentation, Elalamy commended the joint effort of Moroccans during the COVID-19 crisis, saying the pandemic has proven Morocco is capable of industrializing and has highly-skilled engineers and workers.