Take a look back at Morocco’s daily COVID-19 updates and the most significant events related to the pandemic during the month of April.
April was undoubtedly a month of Moroccan innovation as entrepreneurs, start-ups, engineers, educational and health professionals, and government institutions unveiled new tools to aid Morocco’s fight against COVID-19.
Morocco’s COVID-19 case count increased by 576% in April and fatalities more than tripled. Recoveries, however, boast the most significant change. Climbing from 29 on April 1 to 984 by April 30, recoveries in Morocco increased by well over 3,000% in one month.
April 1: Morocco confirms 654 total cases of COVID-19, including 39 deaths and 29 recoveries.
The health ministry records 52 new cases, three deaths, and five recoveries in 24 hours.
Health minister explains recovery periods
Morocco’s Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb says health authorities require an average of three weeks to ensure the recovery of each COVID-19 patient. He assures that Morocco is successfully managing the health crisis.
Rapid test kits
The health ministry announces that Morocco is set to purchase 100,000 rapid test kids for COVID-19.
Flatten the curve, determine causes of death
“We expect a flattening of the curve of the evolution of cases,” says a health ministry spokesperson, citing the impact of measures introduced by the government to keep the COVID-19 spread under control.
The Ministry of Health also announces its intention to launch a scientific investigation to determine the exact causes of death of Morocco’s COVID-19 patients. The ministry aims to understand the causes of death on a case-by-case basis and determine whether a patient may have died due to complications from taking other drugs.
The head of the supply department at the Ministry of Health says Morocco was among the first countries worldwide to secure a sufficient stock of the chloroquine-based drugs used to treat COVID-19 patients, despite the high demand in the global market.
April 2: Morocco confirms 708 cases of COVID-19, including 31 recoveries and 44 deaths.
The health ministry confirms 51 new cases, five deaths, and two recoveries in 24 hours.
More than 700,000 workers from the private sector are registered to benefit from the monthly stipend allowance issued by the National Social Security Fund (CNSS). Morocco’s Special Fund for COVID-19 will cover employees who are without pay due to the pandemic.
Moroccan student inventions
Students from the Moroccan School of Engineering Sciences (EMSI) developed three medical inventions that could help fight the spread of COVID-19. The three inventions are called “African Savior,” “Digital System Medical Respiratory,” and “Moroccan Electronic Perspective.”
600,000 students consult digital learning platform TelmidTICE daily
The Ministry of Education announces its TelmidTICE website hosting remote classes welcomes 600,000 users every day. The ministry says the total number of educational videos produced since the site’s launch on March 16 has reached 3,000.
April 3: Morocco reports 791 cases of COVID-19, including 57 recoveries and 48 deaths.
The health ministry confirms 83 new cases, four deaths, and 26 recoveries in 24 hours.
Made in Morocco
A group of Moroccan researchers and engineers unveil two “100% Moroccan” devices, an automatic ventilator and an infrared thermometer, to assist the country’s efforts in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Funeral costs for deceased Moroccans abroad
Amid international travel restrictions and economic setbacks during the global COVID-19 crisis, Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces its decision to cover the funeral costs of low-income nationals abroad and those who do not have Islamic funeral insurance.
April 4: Total cases stand at 919, including 59 deaths and 66 recoveries.
Morocco breaks its daily record with 128 new cases in 24 hours, along with 11 deaths and nine recoveries.
April 5: Morocco’s COVID-19 cases hit 1,021, including 70 deaths and 76 recoveries.
The health ministry reports 102 new cases, 11 deaths, and 10 recoveries in 24 hours.
King Mohammed VI issues exceptional royal pardon
King Mohammed VI orders the release of 5,654 detainees in an exceptional royal pardon due to the COVID-19 crisis.
In addition to the royal pardon, the King ordered stronger protection of detainees within prison establishments against the spread of the virus.
COVID-19: A family affair?
Director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Health Mohamed El Youbi attributes the continuing increase of COVID-19 cases in Morocco to virus transmission among families.
Postponing water, electric bill payments
The National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE) takes additional measures to support customers experiencing financial issues during the COVID-19 crisis: Postponing payments, setting up remote payment facilities, and guaranteeing adequate services.
April 6: Morocco ends the day with 1,120 COVID-19 cases, 81 recoveries, and 80 deaths.
The country counts 99 new cases, 10 deaths, and five recoveries in 24 hours.
The Ministry of Health and independent medical experts urge Morocco’s citizens and residents to wear face masks while outside.
Uncapping external loans
Morocco’s government council, chaired by Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani, discusses potentially uncapping the country’s external loans, currently limited at around $3.1 billion.
Removing the limit on Morocco’s external loans would allow the country to benefit from additional resources from international financial organizations in order to better respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Masks to become mandatory
Morocco’s government announces that wearing medical masks in public spaces and the workplace is mandatory starting Tuesday, April 7.
King Mohammed VI instructed the government to provide protective masks to the public at an appropriate price according to Article 3 of Law 2.20.292. The price for one mask is set at MAD 0.80 (approximately $0.10).
Amara goes home
Morocco’s Minister of Equipment Abdelkader Amara recovers from COVID-19. He tested positive following his return from an official working visit to Europe. Amara left the Mohammed V military hospital in Rabat on Monday, April 6, after being admitted to the hospital on March 24.
April 7: Cases increase to 1,184, including 93 recoveries and 90 deaths. Face masks are now mandatory in public spaces.
The country confirms 64 new cases, 10 deaths, and 12 recoveries in 24 hours.
Morocco to export masks to Europe
Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy says protective face masks produced by Moroccan manufacturers will soon hit European markets to alleviate production pressure in Europe’s hard-hit countries.
King Mohammed VI leads by example
In line with the new mandatory face mask regulations, King Mohammed VI demonstrates how Moroccan citizens should act responsibly. The monarch wears a face mask during a royal audience to receive the head of government, the minister of education, and the newly-appointed minister of culture.
Morocco moves forward with uncapping external loans
The Finance and Economic Development Committee at the House of Representatives adopts draft decree-law 2.20.320, allowing the government to raise the ceiling for external funding that was set for the 2020 fiscal year.
The committee’s decision aims to fulfill the country’s need in foreign exchange, given the pandemic’s impact on several sectors.
April 8: Morocco’s COVID-19 figures include 1,275 cases, 93 deaths, and 97 recoveries.
Morocco confirms 91 new cases, three deaths, and four recoveries in 24 hours. The Casablanca-Settat region hosts nearly one-third of Morocco’s total confirmed cases.
Ventilators for COVID-19 patients
SERMP, a research and mechanical precision engineering company in Morocco, is contributing to the national campaign to assist medical personnel and COVID-19 patients amid the health crisis by manufacturing 500 ventilators.
Suspension of some rent payments
King Mohammed VI decides to suspend rent payments for tenants of Islamic Endowment premises. The measure will benefit hundreds of thousands of tenants across the country, particularly in cities with bustling medinas (old cities) such as Fez and Rabat, whose livelihoods depend on handicrafts, trade, and other private and informal sector services.
Morocco experiences economic recession
In its quarterly economic note, Morocco’s High Commission for Planning reports a 1.1% recession in economic growth in the first quarter of 2020, expecting a 1.8% decline in the second quarter.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Morocco’s trade balance deficit has widened by 23.8% in the first quarter of 2020 thanks to a significant drop in exports compared to imports.
EIB presents €440 million loan
The European Investment Bank Group (EIB) announces its financial support for the private sector in Morocco, notably through its credit lines with Moroccan financial institutions amounting to €440 million.
The loan is intended to assist Morocco in addressing the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
April 9: Morocco’s COVID-19 case count hits 1,374, including 97 deaths and 109 recoveries.
Morocco’s Ministry of Health confirms 99 new cases, four deaths, and 12 recoveries.
Stipends for non-RAMED holders
The CVE announces its decision to compensate informal sector workers, who no longer have income due to the suspension of non-essential commercial activities, through the national COVID-19 fund. Non-RAMED holders who work in the informal sector will receive financial aid ranging from $78 to $117 depending on family size.
April 10: Total cases stand at 1,448, including 112 recoveries and 107 deaths.
The health ministry confirms 74 new cases, 13 recoveries, and 10 deaths in 24 hours.
April 11: Morocco reports a total of 1,545 COVID-19 cases, 146 recoveries, and 111 deaths.
In 24 hours, the ministry reports 97 new cases, 24 recoveries, and four deaths.
April 12: Morocco’s COVID-19 totals reach 1,661 cases, 177 recoveries, and 118 deaths.
In 24 hours, the ministry has confirmed 116 new cases of the virus, seven deaths, and 31 recoveries.
Foreign ministry vows to assist Moroccans stranded abroad
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is increasing efforts to assist Moroccan tourists and expatriates around the world. The ministry’s latest action is the instructions to the consulate general of Morocco in Dusseldorf, western Germany, to support the non-resident Moroccan citizens in the region during the period of confinement.
Morocco joins UN domestic violence initiative
Morocco joins the UN’s international initiative to counter domestic violence across the country and worldwide as governments impose lockdowns to counter the spread of the coronavirus. Morocco vows to position the “prevention and remedy” of domestic violence as a key national and global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
3-month-old Sama recovers from COVID-19
A 3-month-old girl named Sama recovers from COVID-19 at the Hassan II University Hospital Center in Fez, becoming Morocco’s youngest recovered patient.
April 13: The country records 1,763 total cases, 203 recoveries, and 126 deaths.
The ministry confirms 102 new cases, 26 recoveries, and eight deaths in 24 hours.
King Mohamed VI proposes pan-African COVID-19 response
King Mohammed VI holds high-level talks with the President of Cote D’Ivoire Alassane Dramane Ouattara and the President of Senegal Macky Sall on the alarming evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic on the African continent.
The King proposes a joint African leaders initiative aimed at establishing an operational framework to accompany African countries in their various phases of managing the pandemic.
April 14: Total cases hit 1,888, including 126 deaths and 217 recoveries.
Morocco records its first coronavirus-related death-free day in three weeks. Meanwhile, cases increase by 125 and recoveries by 14.
COVID-19 infiltrates Tangier prison
Morocco’s local prison in Ksar El Kbir, 99.5 kilometers from Tangier, confirms COVID-19 infections among four prison employees and one inmate. All of the patients have been transferred to a hospital for treatment.
The Ksar El Kbir local prison is the first and only jail in Morocco to announce contamination to date.
Morocco begins creating coronavirus tracking app
Morocco commences the development of a mobile app that tracks COVID-19 carriers to identify potential infections. The Ministry of the Interior, in coordination with the ministries of health and industry, has entrusted the app development to the Digital Development Agency (ADD).
COVID-19 screening diversification
The minister of health Ait Taleb announces Morocco’s decision to widen and diversify screening tests for COVID-19 as part of the strategy to prepare for the end of lockdown.
April 15: Total cases stand at 2,024, including 229 recoveries and 127 deaths.
The health ministry records 136 new cases of COVID-19 in one day, a new record. Twelve patients recovered in 24 hours while only one succumbed to the virus.
More than 18,000 Moroccans are stranded abroad
The minister delegate in charge of Moroccans residing abroad (MREs), Nezha El Ouafi, estimates the number of Moroccans stranded abroad at 18,226. She says 2,743 are receiving accommodation through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Moroccan startup invents new automatic ventilator
Moroccan startup company STM Loop and researchers from the Faculty of Science and Technology in Tangier (FST Tangier) have invented a new automatic ventilator model to help doctors treat COVID-19 patients.
A group of Moroccan engineers and doctors have invented an intelligent mask that allows users to detect COVID-19 cases. The group also invented a tracking application called Trackorona that will accompany the mask.
April 16: Morocco’s COVID-19 cases jump to 2,283, with 130 deaths and 249 recoveries.
In 24 hours, the ministry confirms 259 new cases of COVID-19, Morocco’s highest daily count so far. The ministry also confirms three deaths and 20 recoveries.
AMANWAY disinfection tunnel
The Hassan II Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in Casablanca announces its development of a prototype of an individual disinfection tunnel called “AMANWAY.”
April 17: Total cases climb to 2,564, including 135 deaths and 281 recoveries.
Morocco confirms 281 cases in 24 hours, breaking the record set just one day prior. Two deaths and 32 recoveries are also reported.
The Marrakech-Safi region records a 32% increase in its COVID-19 cases overnight with 156 new cases, bringing the region’s total case number to 643.
Mi Naima gets one year in prison for fake coronavirus news
The First Instance Tribunal of Casablanca sentences Moroccan YouTube influencer “Mi Naima” to one year’s imprisonment for spreading fake news about COVID-19 in Morocco.
Police arrested her in March for inciting people to not comply with orders and the preventive measures that the government put in place to tackle the spread of the virus.
Supporting formal sector employees
The Moroccan government council approves draft law 52-20 enacting exceptional measures in favor of employers who are affiliated with CNSS and whose employees lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis. The law sets the conditions for granting a MAD 2,000 ($200) monthly stipend to employees with suspended activity.
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April 18: Morocco extends the state of emergency while COVID-19 cases climb to 2,685.
The Ministry of Health announces 121 new cases in 24 hours, along with two deaths and 33 recoveries. The number of recovered patients reaches 314, while the death toll is 137.
State of emergency extension
The Moroccan government council agrees to extend the country’s state of emergency for another 30 days until May 20 as COVID-19 cases continue to increase.
The extension of the state emergency will leave Moroccans under lockdown in Ramadan.
COVID-19 threat in industrial sector grows
Moroccan ministries call for cooperation to ensure the cleanliness of industrial workplaces and to enforce preventive measures and the threat of COVID-19 grows.
April 19: Morocco counts a total of 2,855 COVID-19 cases, 141 deaths, and 327 recoveries.
In 24 hours, the health ministry records 170 new cases, four deaths, and 13 recoveries.
April 20: The COVID-19 situation in Morocco includes 3,046 cases, 143 deaths, and 350 recoveries.
In 24 hours, the ministry confirms 191 new cases, two deaths, and 23 recoveries.
Morocco ramps up testing capacity
Morocco is ramping up its COVID-19 testing capacity, conducting 1,263 tests in one day.
On average, the country performed 917 tests per day between April 11 and April 19.
Health minister: Morocco ‘avoided the worst,’ lockdown to end gradually
The health minister expresses his satisfaction with the government’s response to the spread of COVID-19. He said Morocco’s preventive measures enabled the country to avoid the worst of the pandemic, emphasizing that the “epidemiological situation in Morocco is controlled.”
The minister adds his department is planning to develop a strategy that will help the country to lift its lockdown gradually, after the state of emergency extension draws to a close on May 20.
“The lockdown will be lifted gradually at the national level, since the epidemiological situation remains stable, but differs from one region to another,” due to the different COVID-19 data in each region.
Ouarzazate prison population to undergo COVID-19 tests
The entirety of Ouarzazate’s prison population will be subjected to COVID-19 testing after almost half of the prison’s officials tested positive for the virus.
Infected staff and prisoners will be required to follow treatment plans as advised by health authorities. Non-infected staff will be placed under quarantine and required to adhere to strict precautionary measures.
RAMED stipends benefit over 200,000 per day
More than 200,000 eligible Medical Assistance Plan (RAMED) holders benefit from stipends every day as part of the country’s efforts to alleviate financial pressure on informal sector workers.
Stipend distribution commenced on April 13, and the CVE said it is conducted in full “compliance with the required health standards.”
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April 21: Morocco records 3,209 cases of COVID-19, 145 deaths, and 393 recoveries.
The health ministry reports 163 new cases, two deaths, and 43 new recoveries in 24 hours.
Moroccan engineer invents 120-use face mask
Moroccan engineer Alim Berkani has invented a new face mask that serves as a protective tool against the novel coronavirus and could be used up to 120 times.
Foreign ministry releases long-awaited statement on repatriation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it spared no efforts to help the 21,000 Moroccan nationals who are stranded abroad due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown and closed borders.
The ministry said the repatriation process should be well-prepared and the appropriate conditions “must be met so that we can meet this challenge, that our compatriots can return to their families and that the health security of all Moroccans, without exception, is preserved or guaranteed.”
#StayHome for Taraweeh
Morocco’s Supreme Scientific Council urges Moroccans to adhere to lockdown measures during the holy month of Ramadan, requesting that Muslims perform Taraweeh prayers at home rather than at a mosque.
DGSN tracking app
Morocco’s DGSN has launched a mobile application that allows police officers at various checkpoints to track the movements of Moroccan citizens and residents to ensure their compliance with the state of health emergency.
AFD allocates €150 million to Morocco’s post-COVID-19 economy
The French Development Agency (AFD) announces the allocation of €150 million to support Morocco’s plan to prepare for the end of the COVID-19 crisis.
April 22: Morocco’s COVID-19 totals include 3,446 cases, 422 recoveries, and 149 deaths.
Morocco records 237 new cases, 24 recoveries, and four deaths in 24 hours.
CNT expects $13.85 billion hit to Morocco’s tourism sector
A study by the National Tourism Confederation (CNT) predicts Morocco will lose over $13.85 billion between 2020 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 crisis if it does not urgently mobilize a plan to save the tourism sector.
Morocco bans disinfection tunnels
Morocco bans both the use and marketing of disinfection tunnels due to the potential dangers associated with exposure to the products they use.
April 23: Total cases hit 3,568, including 456 recoveries and 155 deaths.
The health ministry confirms 122 new cases, six deaths, and 34 recoveries in one day.
Non-RAMED households to receive stipends
Workers with suspended activities who do not have the Medical Assistance Plan (RAMED) may also apply for stipends.
Bourita assures Moroccan repatriation is imminent
Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita announces Morocco is planning to repatriate all of its citizens stranded abroad, saying “Moroccans have the right to come home. It’s incontestable.”
The minister did not announce a date for the repatriation process, explaining that the plan depends on the country’s sanitary situation and should take place in the best conditions, without causing risk to the country or to the repatriated citizens.
The Ministry of the Interior announces that Moroccans will have authorized movement for an additional two hours during Ramadan.
Morocco’s current curfew is from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Beginning Saturday, April 25, curfew will run from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the duration of the holy month.
April 24: Morocco’s total COVID-19 cases stand at 3,758, including 468 recoveries and 158 deaths.
In 24 hours, the Ministry of Health confirms 190 new cases of COVID-19, along with 30 recoveries and three deaths.
COVID-19 response fund amounts to $3.2 billion
The total value of the Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19 stands at $3.2 billion.
April 25: Total cases stand at 3,897, with 159 deaths and 537 recoveries.
The ministry confirms 139 new cases, one additional death, and 51 new recoveries in 24 hours.
April 26: Recoveries climb to 593, cases increase to 4,065, and the death toll reaches 161.
Morocco reports a new high of daily COVID-19 recoveries, with 56 in 24 hours. Meanwhile, the ministry confirms 168 new cases and two deaths.
April 27: Morocco’s COVID-19 figures include 4,120 cases, 162 deaths, and 695 recoveries.
The health ministry reports 102 recoveries in 24 hours, a new high. One death and 55 new cases are also confirmed.
4.3 million informal workers to receive stipends
A total of 4.3 million families headed by workers in the informal sector will benefit from a stipend granted from the Special Fund for the Management and Respond to COVID-19.
So far, aid has reached two million households of non-RAMED holders working in the informal sector.
EU to support distance education in Morocco
The European Union is set to grant Morocco €139.16 million to strengthen the country’s distance education mechanisms and ensure the continuation of Moroccan students’ learning amid the COVID-19 crisis.
April 28: Morocco’s COVID-19 case count currently stands at 4,252, including 778 recoveries and 165 deaths.
The Ministry of Health announces 132 new cases of the novel coronavirus, three deaths, and 83 recoveries.
Good economic prospects?
Morocco’s minister of industry expects the Moroccan economy will have “unimaginable opportunities” post-COVID-19 if the country effectively manages the crisis.
April 29: Recoveries skyrocket to 928, cases reach 4,321, and deaths increase to 168.
In 24 hours, 150 patients recovered from the virus — a new high — while three have died. The health ministry confirmed 69 new cases.
Tailored economic recovery plans
Morocco’s Economic Monitoring Committee (CVE) discusses the development of sectoral recovery plans that will support the Moroccan economy after the COVID-19 crisis.
April 30: Morocco’s COVID-19 cases hit 4,423, with 170 deaths and 984 recoveries.
The country sees 102 new cases, 56 recoveries, and two deaths in 24 hours.
Bill to support tourism industry
The government council convenes to adopt Draft Bill 30.20, setting measures to support the tourism sector amid heavy losses due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Health minister: R0 ratio must change
The minister of health says the government will not lift the state of emergency until there is a change in the “R0” ratio. The R0 ratio determines how infectious a virus is and refers to how many people are infected by a single person.
The minister says the R0 must be less than one over two weeks, meaning each infected person would transmit the virus, on average, to less than one person.
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Find our complete timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in Morocco here.