Morocco Detects Spread of ‘British’ COVID-19 Variant in 7 Regions


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Rabat – Morocco’s COVID-19 monitoring committee detected cases of the British variant in seven regions across the country.

A statement from the Ministry of Health said on Monday that the sequencing of the complete genome allowed the confirmation of the strain’s presence.

The North African country said that to date, 89 strains B.1.17 or the British variant have been detected.

“No other variant of concern has been confirmed,” the statement added.

The ministry emphasized that new mutations are regularly detected but without clinical or epidemiological impact.

Since the start of the pandemic, several thousand variants have spread, emphasizing that other variants will emerge.

“The appearance of the variants over time is a natural process in the history of viruses.”

The British variant emerged first in the UK before spreading to 130 countries across the world, including Morocco.

The variant’s transmissibility is 30-70% higher than the other strains of COVID-19 previously circulating.

Other variants of concern, including South African and the Brazilan variant, have also caused fear across the world, the ministry said.

Morocco’s SARS-CoV2 Genomic Watch Consortium said it will continue to inform health authorities of the genetic evolution of circulating COVID-19 strains in Morocco and the possible presence of an “indigenous variant” that could have an impact on public health.

The ministry also urged citizens to respect all health measures that seek to limit the spread of COVID-19 across the country.

The increase of COVID-19 cases in recent days caused concerns and questions about whether the country will tighten restrictions.

As of April 5, Morocco confirmed 498,329 COVID-19 cases, including 8,857 deaths, and 485,162 recoveries.

Morocco has given 4,352,​033 people the first dose of the vaccine, while ​​3,951,023 ​​​​received their second dose.