13 – 15 August, 2020

Casablanca-Restrictive measures after the multiplication of contaminations in Anfa

The measures taken include a ban on the broadcasting of matches on screens in caf├ęs and the sealing off of certain neighbourhoods and districts and the establishment of roadblocks.

Local authorities in Casablanca on Friday undertook a series of restrictive measures in the Anfa district of Casablanca, following the multiplication of cases of Covid-19 contamination.

The measures taken include the ban on broadcasting matches on screens in cafes and the closure of certain arteries and neighbourhoods, namely Boulevard Taher El Alaoui, Rue Abderrahmane El Mkhanet, Rue Mouha Ou Said, Bab Marrakech, Bab Jdid, Sour Jdid and Tnaker, local sources said.

Joint patrols were also set up on checkpoints at the accesses to the central, Benjdia and Chaouia markets.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

Rabat-Hay Rachad put under quarantine due to its epidemiological situation

El Youssoufia, one of the five districts of the “city” Rabat is located east of the capital, has seen one of these “Hays” or neighbourhoods, Hay Rachad, sealed by the authorities. Yesterday, Thursday, he was under a general shakedown.

Alleys, markets and other public spaces have seen an increase in police officers and metal barriers have been placed to prohibit or at least limit the entry and exit of some places in the neighbourhood which contains an important population density.

This local containment was decided by the authority after the district had been declared a cluster, epidemic hotspot that could dangerously spread the coronavirus (COVID-19). In fact, in 24 hours, more than 21 cases were detected in Hay Rachad and many more are expected based on the results of numerous tests carried out in the emergency. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of this working-class district have wisely welcomed these restrictive measures, considering them to be entirely appropriate to the situation.

Hay Rachad returned to localized and even partial confinement and home confinement for some. Decided, following the evolution of the epidemiological situation in the district where several outbreaks have been discovered, this closure will imply a decrease or even a total stop of a set of activities (commercial, economic and social) strict control of public transport and car traffic, even a ban from certain hours and a night curfew defined by the authorities concerned.

The young people of the Hay Rachad neighbourhood in the El Youssoufia district, made up of a network of associations, said they were ready to collaborate with the authorities, with whom they held a few meetings as briefings. They say they are ready to participate in the success of this operation and to raise awareness among the inhabitants of their neighbourhood about the dangerousness of the situation of the COVID-19 that is affecting their neighbourhood. This participation is welcome at a time when the pandemic is becoming more and more pressing in the Kingdom and when a decrease in following the protective measures has been noted.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

Morocco introduces Rapid Serological Tests in neighbourhoods’ health centres

This is a turning point in strategy. Morocco is introducing rapid serological tests in neighbourhood dispensaries (primary health care centres), so that people at risk or referred by doctors or pharmacists can be tested quickly. If the test is positive, a PCR test is carried out and while waiting for the result, the person concerned must be placed in isolation.

This is a major change as it will reduce delays and greatly reduce the time in which undiagnosed and contagious cases circulate in the population.

Until now, and under the pressure of the increase in confirmed cases and contact cases, the delays between the identification of a contact or suspect case and the start of treatment have varied on average between 7 and 9 days according to informed medical sources.

Now, a serological test (blood sample which gives a rapid result between 15 and 30 minutes) will allow a first opinion to be made and the suspect case to be isolated while awaiting PCR confirmation.

This decision had been briefly announced by the Minister of Health during a webinar organized Tuesday, August 11 by the Moroccan Society of Medical Sciences. Khalid Ait Taleb, the minister of health, quickly gave concrete form to his announcement.

This decision was the subject of circular 64 DHSA of August 13, 2020, addressed by the Minister to the regional directors of Health.

“The ESSP primary health care institutions are called upon to carry out rapid serological tests for the population at risk and the suspect cases referred by private (and labour) sector doctors, pharmacists and those detected at the level of the health centre,” the minister wrote in the circular.

People at risk are those aged 65 or over with chronic diseases such as diabetes and/or high blood pressure.

Patients with IGM positive (presence of antibodies showing recent coronavirus infection) are referred to hospital outpatient facilities for a PCR test and an additional check-up. Pending the result of the PCR test, those eligible for home care will be confined to their homes.

If the PCR result is negative, the health centre contacts the patient, informs him/her and recommends that he/she remains self-confined while respecting the barrier gestures.

If the PCR result is positive, the eligible asymptomatic patient will remain at home for follow-up. Otherwise, the patient will be hospitalized.

The regional health directorates are responsible for the availability of serological tests and treatments at the PHC level.

This decision breaks with the centralization strategy that had prevailed but which showed its limitations when the number of cases and tests increased. Now, serological tests will be done in the neighbourhoods and closer to the population. The process will become faster and, in any case, the population will be better protected since, while waiting for PCR results, people with positive serology will be isolated.

These measures will be carried out with the support of the territorial administration, announced the Minister of Health on Tuesday 11 August.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.