With mass daily screening tests, Morocco has identified hundreds of new COVID-19 cases during the lockdown easing phases.
Rabat – Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb has warned that reimposing total lockdown in Morocco remains a possible option in the event of non-compliance with preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19.
“The virus is still present and awaits the slightest opportunity to spread further,” the minister said on Saturday, July 25.
The remarks come a few days before Morocco is set to celebrate Eid Al Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, on July 31.
“We are welcoming Eid Al Adha next week which is an opportunity for families to come together around one table. This event comes this year in a particular and difficult situation,” the minister said.
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On Saturday, Morocco recorded the highest daily number of COVID-19 cases since the outbreak of the virus in the country. The health ministry announced the detection of 811 new cases, bringing the country’s total count to 19,645.
Amid the increase in the new cases, Ait Taleb called on Moroccans to show maturity and responsibility during Eid Al Adha, and avoid unnecessary visits and physical contact during family gatherings.
Ait Taleb recalled that the Moroccan health system faces another challenge: Caring for patients with chronic diseases.
The Ministry of Health has been assuring people with chronic diseases not to fear visiting hospitals for check-ups. However, the High Commission for Planning (HCP) said in May that households with members suffering from chronic illnesses have given up 40% of health services for fear of COVID-19 contamination.
Ait Taleb said maintaining the continuity of treatment and health services in public and private hospitals is a priority of the ministry.
“These services must not in any case stop in order to avoid any fall and undesirable repercussions,” he said.
As Morocco eases lockdown measures, the Ministry of Health is working to monitor the COVID-19 situation and ramp up testing for the virus.
The ministry announced on Saturday that Morocco ranked first in North Africa and the second in Africa in terms of the number of COVID-19 screening tests carried out to determine virus carriers.
“Until July 22, national laboratories and rapid response teams carried out some 1,130,700 COVID-19 screening tests,” representing a daily average of nearly 18,000 tests.