Morocco detected one of the variants of COVID-19 in January.
Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Health is setting up a consortium of laboratories to identify all of the COVID-19 strains active in the country.
The project is in line with Morocco’s genomic monitoring strategy for COVID-19, the ministry announced.
The consortium is made up of the reference laboratory for influenza and respiratory viruses of the National Institute of Hygiene, the medical BioTechnology Laboratory of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Rabat, and the National Scientific Research Center.
The Pasteur Institute in Casablanca will also contribute to the project.
The laboratories will work to identify the COVID-19 variants and characterize them by genomic sequencing
The laboratories will have to communicate news on the new strains to Morocco’s Ministry of Health.
Since news broke of new COVID-19 strains, Morocco has increased efforts to identify the variants active in the country, the ministry noted.
Authorities identified the presence of the English strain after a Moroccan man returned from Ireland.
Two other people in his family carried the same variant.
“The three individuals were treated in accordance with the current health protocols,” the ministry said.
According to the statement, the consortium of laboratories continues to proceed with the sequencing of strains from different laboratories.
None of the Brazilian and South African variants have been detected in Morocco to date.
But the country’s health experts are calling for caution. They have called on Moroccans to strictly comply with preventive measures, warning them that COVID-19 is still spreading in Morocco.
The ministry also urged citizens to continue to wear their protective masks, respect physical distancing rules, and wash their hands regularly.
The number of COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Morocco, but some health officials have argued that the decline is partly due to the decrease in the number of tests carried out daily.
Morocco has now 9,939 active COVID-19 cases.
Since the pandemic hit Morocco in March 2020, the country has confirmed 479,071 COVID-19 cases, including 460,628 recoveries, and 8,504 deaths.