With 6,456 of Morocco’s 25,537 cases, the region hosts 25.28% of the national case count.
Rabat – The Casablanca-Settat region is at war with the coronavirus. Having confirmed 6,456 cases of COVID-19 since March, including 79 in the past 24 hours, the region is the hardest-hit in Morocco.
Since March, the Moroccan government has established multiple field hospitals in the Casablanca-Settat region to care for COVID-19 patients.
According to a July 31 press release from the Wilaya of Casablanca, as quoted by Moroccan news outlet Le360, these field hospitals are nearing maximum capacity as COVID-19 patients continue to pour in.
The press release reports that the field hospitals constructed at the site of the Casablanca International Fair and in Benslimane and El Jadida are currently occupied at 83.77% of their combined capacity.
The Casablanca International Fair field hospital — the largest in Africa — currently hosts 550 patients and has a maximum capacity of 700 patients, leaving 150 beds unoccupied.
At the Benslimane field hospital, which has 690 beds, only 14 are free.
In El Jadida, 149 of the field hospital’s 539 beds are available.
COVID-19 in Casablanca
Le360 quoted a “well-informed medical source” who described the COVID-19 situation in Casablanca as “explosive.”
“If the number of patients infected with COVID-19 does not drop, the reception facilities throughout the region will be saturated in three days,” the anonymous source warned.
The report adds that in only one week, Casablanca-Settat confirmed 1,676 new cases of the coronavirus. On Friday, July 31, the region recorded a high of 342 new cases in 24 hours.
As the most populous region in the country, it is no surprise that Casablanca-Settat has the highest number of COVID-19 cases. With 6,456 of Morocco’s 25,537 cases, the region hosts 25.28% of the national case count.
Despite these figures, Casablanca-Settat has been one of the regions to benefit from gradual deconfinement measures since June 25.
However, one month later, on the evening of July 26, Morocco’s Ministry of the Interior announced the decision to ban travel to and from eight major cities, including Casablanca.
Morocco’s ongoing efforts against COVID-19
The government explained that the decision takes into account the “notable increase in the number of infections with the coronavirus” in the affected cities.
With Eid Al Adha less than a week away at the time of the announcement, the government sought to prevent COVID-19 from spreading during the holiday by keeping Moroccans from traveling to the concerned regions.
However, despite the country’s largest hotspots being locked down, Morocco has seen new records in daily COVID-19 case counts—and deaths.
On Sunday, August 2, the health ministry reported the highest number of deaths related to COVID-19 in a single day, 15. The record was broken just a day prior, with 14 new deaths recorded on Saturday.
In terms of cases, Morocco broke its own daily record three times in a matter of days. On Wednesday, July 29, the health ministry confirmed 826 new cases, then the highest the country had ever seen. On Thursday, 1,046 new cases were recorded. On Friday, cases increased by 1,063.
Morocco’s head of government and health minister will likely comment on the case surge in the coming days.