The new laboratory is part of the country’s approach to increase mass screenings to identify COVID-19 cases.
Rabat – Health authorities set up a screening laboratory for COVID-19 in the Mohammed V Provincial Hospital in Al Hoceima, northern Morocco.
The laboratory conducted its first screening tests for COVID-19 on Sunday.
The results of the first tests were released today.
The laboratory complements other similar units in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, where COVID-19 tests occur on a daily basis.
Mohamed El Yeznasni, the provincial health delegate of Al Hoceima, said the laboratory will bring services closer to inhabitants of the province and reduce waiting times for CCOVID-19 test results, according to Morocco’s state media.
Previously, residents of the province had to travel to Tetouan, more than 200 kilometers, to undergo COVID-19 screening tests.
The lab was set up under the supervision of the provincial delegation of health, as well as biologists and laboratory technicians from the Mohammed V Provincial Hospital of Al Hoceima.
El Yeznasni said the lab will be able to perform more than 100 screening tests per day.
The health expert reiterated the major preventive measures Morocco implemented to prevent the spread of the pandemic, including the wearing of protective masks and social distancing.
El Yeznasni also stressed the regular use of disinfectants.
The Ministry of Health said in July that the country will maintain its mass COVID-19 screening strategy to avoid an epidemic rebound.
El Yeznasni recalled that the country adopted the strategy to keep the rate of infections and fatalities low, and to stem the spread of the pandemic.
Health officials have acknowledged that the epidemiological situation in the country has significantly worsened compared to the first week a COVID-19 case emerged in Morocco, in March.
As of August 31, Morocco has recorded 62,590 COVID-19 cases, including 47,595 recoveries and 1,141 deaths.
Since the outbreak of Morocco’s epidemic in March, 1,871,744 suspected cases have tested negative.