The Rabat-Sale-Kenitra region comes second in terms of active cases, with 2,066, followed by Souss-Massa (1,791), Draa-Tafilalet (1,775), Marrakech-Safi (1,259), and Dakhla-Oued Eddahab (1,051).
The remaining regions count less than 1,000 active COVID-19 cases, with figures ranging from 73 in Guelmim-Oued Noun to 968 in Beni Mellal-Khenifra.
Morocco’s Ministry of Health announced the numbers on Tuesday, September 15, in its first bimonthly briefing on the epidemiological situation in the country.
The briefing covered the evolution of COVID-19 in Morocco over the past two weeks, from September 1-14.
As of September 14, Morocco counted 88,203 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The number represents 243 infections per 100,000 population.
The country also recorded 68,970 recoveries and 1,614 deaths. The figures make for a recovery rate of 78.2% and a fatality rate of 1.8%.
In the first week of September, Morocco recorded 10,995 new COVID-19 cases, 250 new coronavirus-related deaths, and 8,919 recoveries.
In the second week, the number of new COVID-19 cases increased by 30% compared to the previous week, reaching 14,292. However, the number of fatalities decreased to 217 (-13%) and the number of recoveries increased to 12,254 (+37%).
Unprecedented spread rate
The increase in COVID-19 cases pushed the rate of new infections per capita to an unprecedented level. In the second week of September, Morocco recorded 39.43 new cases per 100,000 population.
The rate is the highest since the beginning of the domestic COVID-19 outbreak in March. During the strict nationwide lockdown, Morocco recorded between 0.13 and 3.28 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population every week.
When the government began easing lockdown measures, between June and July, the rate fluctuated between 1.56 and 5.91 weekly new cases per 100,000 population.
However, as soon as the government further eased measures in July, the figure exponentially increased. The rate climbed from 3.9 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the third week of July to 39.43 in the second week of September.
During the week of September 7, the number of new COVID-19 cases per capita was the highest in Casablanca-Settat, Draa-Tafilalet, and Dakhla-Oued Eddahab. The three regions recorded over 50 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.
Rabat-Sale-Kenitra, Beni Mellal-Khenifra, Marrakech-Safi, and Souss-Massa recorded between 20 and 50 new cases for every 100,000 residents.
Meanwhile, Morocco’s five remaining regions reported less than 20 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population.
The month of September has already seen the second-highest number of COVID-19-related fatalities since the start of the domestic outbreak and, if Morocco’s epidemiological evolution continues along the same trend, could set a new record.
In the first two weeks of September, 473 people died of COVID-19 in Morocco. The number is more than half all deaths recorded in August (788).
Globally, Morocco climbed eight ranks in terms of total confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks. The country currently has the 38th-highest number of COVID-19 cases.
Morocco also climbed two positions in terms of coronavirus-related deaths and now stands at the 44th rank globally.
The country’s global position by number of COVID-19 tests conducted on the population did not change over the past two weeks. Morocco remains the 32nd country in the world for testing.
Morocco’s situation relative to Africa also did not change. The country remains third by number of cases, fourth by number of deaths, and second by number of tests.