A rather predictable decision after the detection of twenty cases of contamination with the new English variant in the Kingdom, known for its high contagiousness. Rumors even speak of an extension of the curfew until after the month of Ramadan, others evoke a probable re-containment in the hope of reaching the hoped-for collective immunity in the next 3 months and getting out of this health crisis with the least damage. In short, the speculations are there as always.
But the question that keeps coming up in the minds of Moroccans recently and that they express on social networks, is why the restrictive measures are still maintained while the flagship epidemiological indicators are rather green. The number of deaths is decreasing in the Kingdom (between 8 and 10 deaths per day), as are the severe cases (429 yesterday Sunday February 28 and 394 this March 1).
For Dr. Said Afif, and despite this downward trend, Morocco has not yet left the hostel, hence the need to maintain restrictive measures. ” The government made the right decision. Moroccans are certainly tired of the restrictions, like all citizens of the world, but we still have to be patient. The Kingdom must maintain these measures so as not to fall back into the same scenario of Aid Al-Adha, when the measures were lightened and the numbers exploded. This had direct repercussions on the hospital structures which were invaded by patients, especially severe cases ”, explained to Hespress Fr, the president of the National Health Federation (FNS).
Also president of the Moroccan Society of Medical Sciences (SMSM), Dr. Said Afif recalls the main characteristic of the English variant B.1.1.7 which is the increased contagiousness of 50 to 60% compared to the original strain of Covid-19.
” This English variant begins by touching one, two or three people before suddenly exploding the numbers to reach new heights. We don’t want that to happen here. Our hospital structures cannot support it. We are neither Italy nor Germany, and we do not want Moroccans to be forced to go to private clinics if the public structures are saturated. The epidemiological situation is rather good and stable for the moment, but we must especially not let our guard down. Morocco has acquired some experience during this pandemic, hence this judicious decision to extend the restrictive measures“, Estimated Dr. Said Afif, calling at the same time the citizens to make an additional effort for a few more months in order to achieve collective immunity through vaccination.
For his part, the virologist, Prof. Moulay Mustapha Ennaji, director of the virology laboratory at the Hassan II University of Casablanca, is in the same perspective as his colleague. It is out of the question to go back to square one.
” Letting go was observed during the period of the religious holiday of Aid Al Adha, which coincided with the summer season, and followed a surge in positive cases of Covid-19. Today, we fell into exactly the same situation where we had to decide. There has been a decrease in positive cases following, among other things, the latest restrictive measures and the decline in the mobility of the population. If we let go today with the discovery of several cases of contamination with the English variant, it will take us again 2 or 3 years to return to normal and bring down the figures“, Explains Pr. Ennaji in a statement to Hespress Fr.
For him, ” it is better to take advantage of the current vaccination campaign in Morocco, get vaccinated, and wait another two or three months. Once 80% of the population has been vaccinated and collective immunity has been achieved, we will have emerged victorious from this battle ”.
But dropping restrictive measures at this crucial juncture will automatically follow an outbreak of positive cases, explains the virologist, before concluding that it is necessary to ” double your vigilance and not be fooled by the numbers which are rather good“.