Morocco’s COVID-19 Reproduction Rate Fluctuates Between 0.98 and 1.2

The number differs from one Moroccan region to another. Photo credit: 2M

The average COVID-19 reproduction rate in Morocco currently fluctuates between 0.98 and 1.2, the Ministry of Health announced. Moroccan health authorities aim to reduce the number to 0.7 in all Moroccan regions.

The Ministry of Health released the figures on Tuesday night, October 13, in its bi-monthly report on the COVID-19 situation in Morocco. The report covered the evolution of the domestic epidemiological situation between September 29 and October 12.

During this period, Morocco confirmed 34,654 new COVID-19 cases. The number is significantly higher than the cases recorded two weeks earlier, indicating a continuous spread of COVID-19 in Morocco. Between September 1-14, Morocco only recorded 25,613 new cases.

On October 12, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Morocco stood at 153,761. The figure represents 423.4 cases per 100,000 people.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus-related deaths reached 2,636, marking a 1.7% fatality rate. The recovery rate, on the other hand, stood at 84.2%.

Increasing cases, relatively stable death rate

The exponential increase in COVID-19 cases in Morocco has continued for one and a half months, said Abdelkrim Meziane Belfkih, the head of the outpatient illnesses division at the Ministry of Health.

Every two weeks, Morocco records more cases than the 14 previous days, he added. The number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases grew by 21% from the first half of September to the second, and by 12% between the second half of September and the first half of October.

Despite the exponential increase in confirmed cases, the number of coronavirus-related deaths remains relatively stable at approximately 500 fatalities every two weeks. In the first half of October, the number of deaths increased by only 5%, despite the 12% increase in cases, Meziane Belfkih said.

Regarding regional epidemiological situations, the report showed that only three Moroccan regions — Casablanca-Settat, Souss-Massa, and Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab — confirmed weekly averages of more than 50 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Seven regions recorded on average between 20 and 50 cases per 100,000 population in the first two weeks of October.

Meanwhile, the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima and Fez-Meknes regions have relatively controlled the spread of COVID-19 and confirmed less than 20 cases per 100,000 people.

Finally, regarding the number of conducted tests for COVID-19, the report shows that Morocco ranks second in Africa and 31st in the world. Moroccan laboratories perform more than 166,000 tests per week, with a daily average of 23,700 tests.

In the past two weeks, however, the rate of positive results per test went from 9.7% to 11%. The World Health Organization recommends countries increase their testing frequency until the positive rate is below 5%.