The contract that the ministry signed is worth short of $22 million dollars.
Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Health rebutted on May 30 reports claiming a single company with two government contracts worth MAD 400 million ($41 million) is responsible for the procurement of COVID-19 rapid diagnostic tests.
The ministry said it signed a contract for two million rapid diagnostic tests worth MAD 212 million ($21.7 million) that did not entirely cover Morocco’s needs, according to the press release.
The agreement was in accordance with health emergency laws and in full compliance with the principle of competitive contracting, the health ministry explained.
The statement added that the ministry consulted “world-leading” companies in the field to ensure technical and financial evaluation of the offers.
The acquired tests are technically efficient and compatible with national laboratories’ equipment, rendering the purchase and cost of new screening equipment unnecessary, the statement continued.
The Ministry of Health said it benchmarked Morocco’s contract to those of other countries, with the statement explaining, “It is the same price paid by several European and Asian countries for the acquisition of quantities ranging from 6 to 10 million tests.”
The ministry affirmed that it “ensures exemplary application of all legal provisions in order to properly manage the resources placed at its disposal.”
The news comes amid Morocco’s efforts to curtail the spread of misinformation during the COVID-19 crisis.
Apart from fake news about the virus itself, Morocco has also seen false reports regarding the government’s dealings. In March, the Director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Health, Mohamed Lyoubi, had to deny reports that Morocco purchased 100,000 COVID-19 test kits from a South Korean manufacturer.
Since the start of the outbreak in the country, Moroccan laboratories have conducted more than 200,000 tests on suspected carriers, of which 197,805 came back negative.