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Rabat – “Al-Quds Al-Arabi”: While Morocco awaits the arrival of new batches of vaccines, there are frequent calls for citizens to adhere to the precautionary measures, especially with the spread of the British strain of the virus. Despite the efforts made by the medical teams stationed in the front lines in the face of the epidemic, the country is especially complaining in terms of doctors, which prompted the authorities to consider bringing in foreign doctors, especially with the announcement of providing health coverage to millions of Moroccans.
The newspaper “El-Alam” reported in yesterday’s issue that Morocco is invited to diversify its revenues from vaccines, and it quoted Professor Ezzedine Brahimi, director of the medical biotechnology laboratory at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in Rabat and a member of the Scientific Committee for Covid 19, as saying that the Moroccan government is required to open up to the American market. To acquire the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as a priority, without forgetting the vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna. According to the same expert, the success of the vaccination campaign in the United States will reduce the supply pressure for the three vaccines. Therefore, Morocco should be among the countries that express their desire to receive these vaccines soon.
The Moroccan Ministry of Health called on citizens to strictly adhere to health measures, especially wearing masks and social distancing. Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper reported that the epidemiological situation, according to the health authorities, is still worrying with the emergence of new numbers of infections, as well as the possibility of an exacerbation of the British mutated virus, which is spreading at high speed. She added that these authorities are counting on Moroccans’ understanding and discipline during this period of Ramadan, as new shipments of vaccines approach.
The state decided to open its health sector to foreign expertise and foreign investments, in order to provide coverage for 22 million people currently without health insurance.
Mohamed Benchaaboun, Morocco’s Minister of Economy and Finance, announced that foreign doctors will soon be able to practice in Morocco. He pointed out that universal health coverage requires facing a set of challenges that are related in particular to the low rate of medical supervision, the large deficit in human resources and the unequal geographical distribution in the country.
The newspaper “Ojordoy Le Maroc” (Morocco Today, French-speaking) said that more than half of the doctors (52 percent) work in the following cities: Rabat, Casablanca, El Jadida and Kenitra; She explained that there are great differences in density between health areas, as within the same axis, which does not exceed tens of kilometers, there are differences between the cities of the regions of Rabat – Salé – Kenitra and Casablanca – Settat. Thus, to face the shortage of health personnel, the practice of medicine will be opened to foreign skills, in addition to encouraging international health institutions to work and invest in the country.
Morocco is still far from achieving the goal of providing 3,300 new doctors to healthcare every year. In 2018, the country’s colleges of medicine and pharmacy trained only 2,282 doctors, while the number of new doctors in 2007 was only 1,715, an increase of 25 percent. Despite this, the deficit remains, with the expansion of medical expertise abroad, especially to France, as well as the arrival of a group of doctors to retirement and some benefiting from early retirement. A press source stated that more than 8,000 Moroccan doctors born in the Kingdom are currently working in France.
And if the shortage of doctors in Morocco was more evident during the emerging “Corona” virus crisis, it could negatively affect the success of the generalization of the social coverage system, which was announced its launch last week. Official data indicate that there are 27,266 doctors in Morocco, 53 percent of whom work in the private sector, at a rate of 7.1 doctors per 10,000 people, which is far from the WHO standard set at 15.3 doctors per 10,000 people.
The head of the International Monetary Fund’s mission in Morocco, Roberto Cardarelli, said that the speed of the economic recovery in Morocco depends on the smooth progress of the vaccination process against the emerging corona virus. He highlighted during a video conference that “Morocco has demonstrated its vitality in the field of acquisition and distribution of vaccines to residents, and thus has positioned itself as a model at the global level in the field of vaccination,” according to what was quoted by the Moroccan News Agency.
He pointed out that signs of recovery are evident at the level of exports that have risen, and in the industrial sector, which created about 80,000 job opportunities in the fourth quarter of 2020, adding that the service sector, especially tourism, depends greatly on the progress of the vaccination process. Cardarelli explained that according to IMF projections, the recovery in Morocco will start slowly at similar levels in North Africa and the Middle East, noting that the important position of the tourism sector in Morocco affects the economic recovery.
And it was announced yesterday evening, Monday, that the number of beneficiaries of the first dose of vaccination amounted to 4 million 672 thousand and 326 people. While 4 million and 188 thousand and 336 people benefited from the second dose.
As for the developments in the epidemiological situation, there were 138 new cases of the emerging coronavirus, 290 recoveries, and 7 deaths within 24 hours. Then, the new death toll raised the total number of confirmed cases to 505,949 cases since the announcement of the first case last year, while the total number of complete recoveries reached 492,100 cases, while the number of deaths rose to 8,952 cases. While the total number of active cases currently receiving treatment has reached 4,897.
The number of new severe or critical cases in the resuscitation and intensive care departments registered within 24 hours reached 36 cases, bringing the total number of these cases to 435. The rate of filling of resuscitation beds designated for (Covid-19) was 13.8 percent.