Morocco increasing hospital bed capacity to fight coronavirus

North African kingdom is doubling its efforts to increase its hospital bed capacity in its fight against COVID-19 as number of infections passes 1,000.
Monday 06/04/2020
The newly built military hospital in Benslimane seeks to alleviate the pressure on hospitals in Casablanca region. (Reuters)
The newly built military hospital in Benslimane seeks to alleviate the pressure on hospitals in Casablanca region. (Reuters)

CASABLANCA - Morocco is doubling its efforts to increase its hospital bed capacity in its fight against the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as the number of infections passed 1,000 in the North African kingdom.

Moroccan authorities began April 4 setting up a field hospital at Casablanca’s exhibition centre which will treat coronavirus patients, with a capacity of 700 beds.

The field hospital, which will be ready in two weeks at a cost of 45 million dirhams ($4.5 million), will be the first of several crisis facilities that will be set up around the country.

Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces (FAR) completed April 2 the construction of a field hospital in Benslimane, 45 km from Casablanca, in six days with 160 beds following King Mohammed VI’s March 23 call for the deployment of the military’s medical resources in boosting medical structures dedicated to the management of this pandemic.

“The Royal Armed Forces proceeded to the implementation of this military hospital in the Benslimane region to receive COVID-19 cases in support of the national hospitals,” Lieutenant-Colonel Hicham Qachna, chief medical officer of the structure, told the media.

Casablanca has become the epicentre of the outbreak with over 320 cases, prompting security forces to enforce more stringent measures to enforce the lockdown, especially in populated districts.

The Ministry of Public Health Care announced Monday at 8 am 92 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 1,113 and 71 deaths.

Morocco is braced today for the highest number of infections since reporting its first coronavirus case March 2, with 123 cases recorded from Sunday 6 pm to Monday 8 am.

Morocco’s official MAP news agency confirmed Thursday that 100,000 rapid COVID-19 test kits were currently being acquired by Morocco without giving further details.

This article was first published on Middle East Online