The country aims to perform nearly 1.8 million tests for COVID-19 by the end of July or the start of August.
Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Health has confirmed 121 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s total case count to 7,332 as of 4 p.m. on Friday, May 22.
The ministry also announced 97 new recoveries and one new death. The total number of recoveries is currently 4,377, while the death toll has reached 197.
Breaking previous testing records, Moroccan laboratories have reached their goal of conducting 10,000 COVID-19 tests per day for the first time. In the past 24 hours, Morocco conducted a new record of 10,405 tests, including 10,284 tests that came back negative.
Morocco aims to perform about 1.8 million COVID-19 tests in 90 days. To do so, laboratories should reach a daily average of 20,000 tests for three months.
Since February, Moroccan health authorities have performed a total of 123,402 tests on suspected COVID-19 cases, including 116,070 that came back negative.
The number of new recoveries had consistently exceeded the number of new detected cases in recent days. However, today’s numbers broke the trend, slightly increasing the number of active COVID-19 cases in the country to 2,758.
Morocco’s recovery rate, currently at 59.7% of all patients who have tested positive, continues to steadily increase. Meanwhile, COVID-19’s fatality rate in the country remains at 2.7%.
Daily monitoring of people who came into contact with COVID-19 patients remains the most effective method to detect new cases. In the past 24 hours, 102 people, or 85% of the new cases, tested positive for the virus while under monitoring as patient contacts.
Since the start of the outbreak, Moroccan health authorities have monitored 40,540 suspected COVID-19 cases. A total of 6,398 remain under monitoring.
New virus hotspots within industrial production units in Casablanca have emerged. In the past 24 hours, the Casablanca-Settat region alone recorded 88 new cases. Meanwhile, six regions did not record any new cases: Draa-Tafilalet, Beni Mellal-Khenifra, Guelmim-Oued Noun, Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra, Dakhla-Oued Ed Dahab, and the Oriental region.
Casablanca-Settat remains the most affected region in Morocco, with 31.78% of the country’s cases, followed by Marrakech-Safi (17.87%), Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima (13.63%), Fez-Meknes (13.5%), Rabat-Sale-Kenitra (9.37%), and Draa-Tafilalet (7.99%).
The Oriental region (2.45%), Beni Mellal-Khenifra (1.54%), Souss-Massa (1.16%), Guelmim-Oued Noun (0.59%), Dakhla-Oued Ed Dahab (0.07%), and Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra (0.05%) continue to show no or few new cases every day.
Morocco’s epidemiological situation is currently stable, with the reproduction rate of the coronavirus, or “R0,” as low as 0.81 on the national level. However, the R0 is different across regions. The R0 in Casablanca-Settat, for instance, is currently 1.11. It is 0.92 in Marrakech-Safi and 0.89 in Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima.
While any value below 1 is not worrying, the Ministry of Health has revealed it should be lower than 0.7 for maximal safety before starting to ease lockdown measures.
Several Moroccan regions have already met the condition. However, the emergence of new cases might quickly increase the number back to a less safe value, the ministry warned.