Morocco has one of the lowest covid-19 fatality rates (deaths in proportion to total infections) in the world (less than 2.6 pc), while 90 pc of the reported cases have already recovered, said the World Bank.
In a feature published Wednesday after announcing a $48 Mln loan to support the Kingdom’s health system, the WB praised Morocco’s quick response and efficient management of coronavirus pandemic which helped the country “to contain a wider spread of the deadly virus, sparing the Moroccan health system and its 9,200 public sector doctors from severe stress”.
From the early stages of the covid-19 outbreak, Morocco adopted drastic measures to try to contain the epidemic, said the WB analysis. On March 20, when the State of emergency was officially enacted, the country only had 77 cases. Public events were banned, movements within & between cities were firmly controlled and international travel was suspended.
The global health crisis has posed multiple constraints on the Ministry of Health, which showed resilience by deploying an emergency response, developing a set of medical protocols for covid-19 patients, equipping hospitals across the country with medical supplies and personal protective materials, while rapidly scaling up hospital bed capacity and intensive care units, said the WB feature.
Despite its limited resources, the Moroccan health department rose up to the challenge. It stepped up its communication effort by providing daily updates on the epidemiological situation, based on an electronic information system fed with regular laboratory testing results, enabling real-time epidemiologic reporting and informing evidence-based decision-making, underlined the WB analysis.
According to the WB, as lockdown measures are gradually being eased across the North African Kingdom, Morocco’s social interactions and economic activities are progressively returning to a semi-normal status.
In this critical phase, mass covid-19 testing will be needed to ensure that the pandemic curve continues to flatten, enabling the economy to reopen and contributing to the containment of future waves.
To this end, the World Bank approved Wednesday a $48-million loan to Morocco to help upgrade Moroccan hospitals and laboratories with new equipment and to buy medicine.
It also aims to support Morocco’s push for mass tests as it prepares to fully unlock its economy following a three-month confinement.
The new funding has been allocated under an existing Primary Health Program in Morocco. The Bank reallocated $13.01 million of undisbursed funds from the existing health Program and raised $35 million from the World Bank Group’s Fast Track covid-19 Facility (FTCF).
The loan will support the Moroccan health sector’s response to the pandemic by strengthening prevention, detection, surveillance, and patient’s treatment.