Review Morocco’s daily COVID-19 updates and major pandemic-related developments from May 2020.
Between May 1 and May 31, Morocco’s COVID-19 cases increased by more than 3,000. The month of May saw new international loans and grants to aid Morocco’s fight against COVID-19, as well as the reveal of new 100% Moroccan-made tools and inventions to support the national cause.
May 1: Total COVID-19 cases in Morocco stand at 4,569, including 170 deaths and 1083 recoveries.
In 24 hours, the health ministry announces 146 new cases, 99 recoveries, and one death.
US grants Morocco $5.7 million
The Trump administration announces a new grant of $5.7 million to Morocco as part of its international support campaign to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The aid includes $1.7 million for health assistance to help prepare laboratory systems and to improve case detection and epidemiological surveillance.
May 2: Morocco’s COVID-19 totals hit 4,729 cases, 1,256 recoveries, and 173 deaths.
In 24 hours, the health ministry confirms 160 new cases, two additional deaths, and 173 new recoveries.
May 3: Morocco records 4,903 cases, 174 deaths, and 1,438 recoveries.
Recoveries continue to climb, with 182 in 24 hours. The health ministry also detects 174 new infections and one death.
May 4: Confirmed COVID-19 cases hit 5,053. Total recoveries jump to 1,653 while deaths reach 179.
In 24 hours, Morocco sees 150 new cases, 215 recoveries, and five deaths.
Nearly 1 million Moroccans were suspended from work in April
The Moroccan Minister of Labor and Professional Integration, Mohamed Amkraz, says more than 900,000 employees at 134,000 companies were temporarily suspended from work during the month of April due to the COVID-19 crisis.
During the month of March, the CNSS web portal recorded 131,955 economically damaged companies out of 216,000 registered companies in total. The number of temporarily suspended employees reached 808,199, out of two million in total.
May 5: Total COVID-19 cases stand at 5,219, including 1,838 recoveries and 181 deaths.
In 24 hours, the health ministry records 185 recoveries, 166 cases, and two deaths.
Moroccan laboratories performed a total of 4,268 COVID-19 tests, the highest number of tests in one day, including 4,102 that came back negative.
Since February, health authorities have performed 49,570 tests for COVID-19, of which 44,351 yielded negative results.
COVID-19 closes majority of Moroccan hotels
The Moroccan Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah Alaoui says 87% of hotels in Morocco have closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. The state of emergency has caused a 63% decline in hotel stays since Morocco.
May 6: Recoveries surpass 2,000 while total cases reach 5,408. Deaths increase to 183.
With 179 new COVID-19 patients cleared of the virus in the past 24 hours, total recoveries in Morocco have climbed to 2,017. The health ministry detects 189 new cases of the virus and two deaths in 24 hours.
Moroccans abroad plead for repatriation
Stranded Moroccans abroad, who have been stuck for nearly two months, launch the #bring_us_home campaign to urge the government to offer a solution for their repatriation.
May 7: Morocco records its first death-free day since April 14, leaving the COVID-19 death toll at 183.
Cases stand at 5,548, with 140 new infections in the past 24 hours. Recoveries have reached 2,179, with 162 new.
Morocco permits mask exports
Morocco’s Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy says Moroccan textile companies are allowed to export half of their locally-produced masks if national demand is met. As long as the national stock is supplied with 15 million fabric masks, the country will authorize all textile companies to export the remaining products.
El Othmani: COVID-19 is under control
During a press conference, Morocco’s head of government says the COVID-19 situation is largely “under control” as 90-92% of the country’s cases are not critical. The number of patients currently in the emergency room stands at 20%, he said, adding, “We avoided the worst.”
Morocco’s preventive measures have allowed the country to avoid 200 daily deaths related to the novel virus, he continued. “We should be proud of what has been done so far.”
Prisons rein in COVID-19 outbreaks
DGAPR announces that the number of new COVID-19 cases in Moroccan prisons is slowly but steadily declining thanks to preventive measures. On May 6 and May 7, prisons in seven Moroccan regions did not record any new COVID-19 cases.
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May 8: Morocco counts 5,711 COVID-19 infections, 2,324 recoveries, and 185 deaths.
The health ministry reports 163 new cases, 145 new recoveries, and three deaths in 24 hours.
Moroccan foundation constructs artificially intelligent respirator
The Foundation for Development Research and Innovation in Science and Engineering (FRSDISI) introduces a 100% Moroccan artificially intelligent respirator.
Health minister: Hasty lockdown end may ‘cost us a lost’
Morocco’s health minister said upcoming decisions regarding the end of the state of emergency and nationwide lockdown must be well-thought-out, or else they could “cost us a lot.”
“Once the epidemiological situation has stabilized and the index of the virus spread has declined, at that time only we may speak of lifting the state of health emergency,” he says.
May 9: Total cases stand at 5,910, including 2,461 recoveries and 186 deaths.
Good news for Morocco comes in the form of 137 new COVID-19 recoveries and no new deaths in 24 hours. The health ministry records 199 new cases.
May 10: Total cases stand at 6,063, with 2,554 recoveries and 188 deaths.
Morocco records 153 new cases, two deaths, and 93 new recoveries in 24 hours.
Souks reopen in rural regions
Moroccan authorities give the green light for weekly markets (souks) in 12 rural regions to reopen in compliance with sanitary measures. The decision is based on the epidemiological situation in the regions. Authorities reserve the right to ban the markets again according to the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 11: Total COVID-19 cases reach 6,281, with 2,811 recoveries and 188 deaths.
Morocco reports 218 new COVID-19 cases, 257 new recoveries, and zero deaths.
Government spokesperson: COVID-19 is far from over
Morocco’s Minister of Education and Government Spokesperson Saaid Amzazi urges Moroccans to understand that the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, warning that the country remains in a dangerous phase.
Interior, health ministries develop COVID-19 app ‘Wiqaytna’
The ministries of health and the interior reveal the first details of a soon-to-be-launched mobile application, “Wiqaytna,” to track COVID-19 infections. The application will allow health monitoring units to track those who made contact with COVID-19 patients in the 21 days prior to testing positive to contain the pandemic’s spread.
Daily domestic face mask production hits 10 million
Morocco’s face mask production has currently reached 10 million units per day, with 23 factories operating day and night.
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May 12: Morocco records 6,418 total cases of COVID-19, 2,991 recoveries, and 188 deaths.
Morocco its second death-free day in a row. The health ministry reports 137 new cases and 80 recoveries.
Education ministry cancels exams
The education minister announces the official cancellation of all final exams during the 2019-2020 academic year for some levels. Students of the national and regional baccalaureate exams will sit for exams in July and September 2020.
Students will return to school for the 2020-2021 academic year in September.
May 13: Morocco records 6,512 COVID-19 cases, 3,131 recoveries, and 188 deaths.
Morocco enters day three with no new COVID-19-related deaths. Meanwhile, the health ministry reports 94 new cases and 140 new recoveries.
May 14: Morocco records 6,607 COVID-19 cases, 3,310 recoveries, and 190 deaths.
The Ministry of Health detects 95 new cases and 179 recoveries in 24 hours. The death toll increases by one, but the fatality rate remains at 2.9%.
Informal workers receive second stipends
The second operation to support Moroccan informal workers commences. The families registered in the program will receive financial aid, with the total stipend depending on the size of the family.
May 15: Total cases stand at 6,652, with 3,400 recoveries and 190 deaths.
The health ministry reports 45 new cases, 90 recoveries, and no new deaths in 24 hours.
Morocco authorizes Melilla repatriation
The Moroccan government approves a two-stage repatriation operation of 500 Moroccans trapped in the Spanish enclave of Melilla due to COVID-19 border closures.
May 16: Total cases reach 6,741, recoveries hit 3,487, and deaths rise to 192.
The health ministry reports 89 cases, 87 recoveries, and two deaths in 24 hours.
May 17: Total cases reach 6,870, with 3,660 recoveries and 192 deaths.
The health ministry reports 129 new cases, 173 recoveries, and no deaths in 24 hours.
May 18: Morocco extends its lockdown for another three weeks. Cases hit 6,952, with 3,758 recoveries and 192 deaths.
Health authorities confirm no new fatalities related to the virus. Meanwhile, cases increase by 82 in 24 hours while 98 new patients recover.
Morocco extends lockdown until June 10
The head of government announces that the state of emergency will be in effect for three more weeks until June 10. “Deconfinement measures will depend on the regions, and they will remain flexible, with a possibility of backtracking depending on the pandemic’s evolution.”
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May 19: Morocco records 7,023 COVID-19 cases, 3,901 recoveries, and 193 deaths.
The health ministry reports 71 new cases, 143 recoveries, and one death in 24 hours.
Morocco loses $100 million daily under lockdown
Morocco’s economy minister says the country loses up to $100 million each day under lockdown. The two months of quarantine will cause the national economy to lose six points of GDP growth for 2020, he adds, saying the loss would be greater if not for the national COVID-19 fund.
The minister calls on companies in certain industries to resume their activities after the end of Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr, to revive the lockdown-stressed national economy.
May 20: Morocco registers 7,133 COVID-19 cases, 4,098 recoveries, and 194 deaths.
Morocco records 110 new infections, 197 recoveries, and one death in 24 hours.
Arab Monetary Fund loans Morocco $127 million
The Arab Monetary Fund grants a loan worth $127 million to Morocco to meet the country’s needs amid the global COVID-19 crisis. The Arab Monetary Fund says it is considering another loan for Morocco to support a reform program in the public financial sector.
EU agrees on €100 million aid package for Morocco
Morocco is set to receive another milestone aid package from the European Union, of €100 million, to support the country’s health sector amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Supreme Scientific Council: Stay home for Eid
The Supreme Scientific Council issues a press release asking Moroccans to perform Eid al-Fitr prayers at home due to the COVID-19 crisis.
King Mohammed VI dons face mask for Laylat Al Qadr prayers
King Mohammed VI presides over Laylat Al Qadr prayers with a limited audience to respect social distancing and a face mask to defend against COVID-19.
Morocco launches COVID-19 testing campaign
Morocco’s Ministry of Health unveils a mass COVID-19 testing campaign in all Moroccan regions. The campaign’s objective is to conduct 1,790,000 tests by the end of July or the start of August.
The new strategy will lead Moroccan laboratories to perform 20,000 daily COVID-19 tests on average, over the course of 90 consecutive days. The current testing frequency is approximately 5,000 daily tests.
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May 21: Morocco’s total COVID-19 cases grow to 7,211, including 4,280 recoveries and 196 deaths.
The Ministry of Health records 78 new cases, 182 new recoveries, and two new deaths in 24 hours.
Round three of aid for informal workers
Morocco’s Ministry of Economy launches the online platform “tadamoncovid.ma” for workers in the informal sector to apply for financial aid.
The Moroccan government has already distributed the first stipends, for the month of March, and is currently distributing the second stipends, allocated for the month of April. The third operation will cover the month of May.
More than 4.3 million Moroccan families are expected to benefit from financial aid.
Fighting the coronavirus in prisons
Morocco’s prison authority reveals its action plan to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Moroccan prisons. The plan includes increasing medical examinations, controlling movement within facilities, safely reviving activities and programs, and restructuring visitor schedules.
El Othmani: Learn to live with COVID-19
The Moroccan head of government calls on his compatriots to learn to live with the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it will be a reality for one year or even 18 months. He says after lockdown, Morocco will continue to follow preventive measures such as the use of protective equipment, social distancing, and the use of face masks in public.
Morocco prepares 2020 Finance Bill amendments
Moroccan ministries are set to study sectoral recovery proposals in-depth to prepare amendments to the country’s 2020 finance bill. The amendments should support a gradual restart of activity in the various sectors of the economy, as well as create the conditions for a healthy economic recovery.
May 22: Total COVID-19 cases in Morocco reach 7,332, with 4,377 recoveries and 197 deaths.
Morocco reports 121 new cases, 97 new recoveries, and one new death in 24 hours.
Morocco breaks a new screening record, carrying out 10,405 tests in one day, including 10,284 that came back negative.
Spain, Morocco carry out Ceuta repatriations
Spain and Morocco agreed on May 21 to start the repatriation process for Moroccans who have been stranded in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. On May 22, the first group of 300 Moroccan citizens is repatriated.
May 23: Morocco’s COVID-19 figures amount to 7,406 cases, 4,638 recoveries, and 198 deaths.
The Ministry of Health confirms 74 new cases, 161 new recoveries, and one new death in 24 hours.
May 24: Deaths increase to 199 and cases to 7,433, but recoveries rise to 4,703.
The health ministry reports 27 new COVID-19 cases, 65 new recoveries, and one new death in 24 hours. Moroccan laboratories carry out over 9,000 virus tests.
King Mohammed VI oversees socially-distant Eid al-Fitr prayers
While performing Eid al-Fitr prayers, King Mohammed VI adhered to COVID-19 preventive measures by maintaining a safe distance from his 12-person audience and wearing a protective face mask.
May 25: Morocco’s COVID-19 figures amount to 7,532 cases, 4,774 recoveries, and 200 deaths.
The health ministry reports 99 new COVID-19 cases, 71 new recoveries, and one new death in 24 hours.
Morocco proceeds with early morning Ceuta repatriations
Morocco repatriates 37 people in the third operation to return Moroccans stuck in Ceuta. After 300 were repatriated on May 22, another 45 returned in a second, somewhat chaotic operation on May 23.
May 26: Morocco registers 7,577 COVID-19 cases, 4,881 recoveries, and 202 deaths.
Morocco sees two more deaths, 45 new cases, and 74 recoveries in 24 hours.
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May 27: Morocco registers 7,601 COVID-19 cases, 4,978 recoveries, and 202 deaths.
In a record low for daily new cases, Morocco detects 24 COVID-19 infections in 24 hours. Recoveries increase by 97. No deaths are reported.
Morocco to continue chloroquine use
Despite the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision to halt trials on hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment, Morocco continues its use of the medication.
“Opinions differ, but the bottom line is that chloroquine is involved in viral inactivation [of the virus],” says the Moroccan minister of health.
Morocco prepares for Eid al-Adha
Moroccan authorities are already preparing for the country to celebrate Eid al-Adha in optimal conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, says Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch.
Morocco’s National Office for Food Health Safety (ONSSA) has selected and vaccinated more than 2.6 million sheep to be sold for the feast.
May 28: Total cases reach 7,643 and recoveries hit 7,643. The death toll remains at 202.
Morocco records 42 new cases, 217 recoveries, and no deaths in 24 hours.
Ait Taleb stands by chloroquine
Amid ongoing debate about the side effects of using chloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 patients, Morocco’s minister of health declares the drug helped in treating patients and prevented mass deaths.
May 29: COVID-19 totals stack up to 7,714 cases, 5,271 recoveries, and 202 deaths.
The health ministry counts 24 cases, 76 recoveries, and no deaths in 24 hours.
Cafes, restaurants reopen with limited services
Cafes and restaurant owners can resume limited services. The resumption only allows mobile orders and delivery services to customers.
The Ministry of Industry calls on cafe and restaurant owners to comply with the preventive measures and health rules issued by health authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Morocco donates to EU’s global COVID-19 response campaign
Morocco contributes €3 million to the European Commission’s “Coronavirus Global Response” campaign, aiming for universal access to affordable COVID-19 vaccines, treatment, and testing.
EU contributes to Morocco’s COVID-19 response fund
The Ministry of Economy and the EU Delegation announces the EU’s €157 million transfer to Morocco’s Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19. The grant is part of the EU commitment and support programs to assist partners to improve health, social protection, training, and education sectors.
Morocco’s oldest COVID-19 patient recovers
The Hassan II University Hospital Center (CHU) in Fez records the recovery of a 110-year-old woman after she spent 26 days in care at the facility for COVID-19 treatment.
May 30: Morocco’s COVID-19 totals reach 7,780 cases, 204 deaths, and 5,401 recoveries.
Morocco sees 66 new cases, two deaths, and 130 recoveries in 24 hours.
The recovery rate increases to 69.4% as active COVID-19 cases stand at 2,175.
Moroccans return from Algeria
Morocco repatriates 300 Moroccans stranded in Algeria. Three flights operated by national air carrier Royal Air Maroc bring back the nationals who have been stuck in Algeria for over two months. They are the first in a series of air liaisons to bring home Moroccans stuck in Algeria.
May 31: Morocco confirms 7,807 total cases, 5,459 recoveries, and 205 deaths.
The health ministry reports 27 new cases, along with 58 recoveries and no new deaths.
Morocco suffers severe blows to exports
Morocco witnessed a 19.7% drop in exports between January and April of this year, constituting a $2 billion loss. With the exception of Morocco’s stable phosphates sales, the country’s major export sectors have suffered from the fall in world demand, the breakdown of supply chains, and the disruption of several activities in Morocco, all consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
MAScIR designs 100% Moroccan diagnostic kit
The Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation, and Research (MAScIR), a research and development institution based in Rabat, has created the first 100% Moroccan-designed COVID-19 diagnostic kit and secured its international verification.
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Find our complete timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in Morocco here.