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Morocco is ranked second in Africa and first in North Africa in terms of the number of Covid-19 diagnostic tests performed, the Health ministry said on Saturday.


As of July 22, national laboratories and rapid response teams had conducted some 130,700 Covid-19 tests, i.e. a daily average of nearly 18,000 tests, said Mouad Mrabet, coordinator of the national public health emergency operations Center at the ministry of Health, in the weekly statement on the epidemiological situation.
Mr. Mrabet reviewed the evolution of the epidemiological situation over the past week, during which the total number of Covid-19 infections reached 17,962 cases in Morocco, i.e. 49.5 persons per 100,000, highlighting the recovery rate of 87%.


He indicated that the weekly evolution of confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the national level after the lifting of the sanitary confinement has increased, noting that the number of cases reported in the last six weeks remains equal to the number of cases recorded in the three and a half months preceding the lifting of the confinement.
Nationally, the "red zones", added Mrabet, include the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region (particularly Tangier, Assilah, Fahs-Anjra and Tetouan), Casablanca-Settat and Marrakech-Safi, a few eastern provinces in addition to the region of Dakhla-Oued Dahab.


After pointing out that the number of deaths has reached 285 (23 deaths in the last week), the official said that the case-fatality rate remains stable at 1.6%, deploring the steady increase in cases of death, as well as serious infections.


Interacting with citizens' questions via the "WhatsApp" application, Mrabet said that a return to confinement is possible, as in other countries around the world, in the event of an increase in coronavirus cases, noting that confinement will be based on provinces and regions experiencing a significant increase in the number of cases.


Responding to a question about the possibility of coronavirus contamination through seawater, Mrabet said that the latter does not transmit the virus, adding that the problem lies in the congregations observed on beaches, as well as the lack of social distancing.In this regard, he noted that the reproduction rate has now reached 1.11, after having fallen considerably.


Concerning the use of air conditioning, he said that its use at home or in the car does not cause any concern, noting that it is not, however, recommended to use air conditioning in the workplace.
In addition, the official said that people with high blood pressure or serious illnesses are more exposed to complications in case of coronavirus infection, calling on citizens to wear protective masks.