According to a study entitled “Genetic diversity and genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Morocco” and published on SciencesDirect, SARS-CoV-2 has, in all probability, circulated in Morocco from January 15, 2020 before the first case was officially discovered on March 2 of the same year.
The research was carried out on 22 genomic sequences of viruses reported by three different laboratories in Morocco until June 7, 2020, as well as 40,366 genomes of viruses from around the world, reports the report which traces the supposed history of the transmission of the virus. SARS-CoV-2 in Morocco, as revealed by genomic epidemiology.
These results showed that a variety of virus genomes entered the country through different routes. Thus, the virus entered and began to circulate in Morocco, around the beginning of February, most likely from Belgium, Spain and France (the 20C clade was the first to be introduced in Morocco), reveals the same source.
And it was on March 4, 2020 that new infected cases arrived from Belgium. About a week later (March 12, 2020), more infected people entered Morocco from France and through Spain. Three days later, on March 14, 2020, infected cases migrated from Switzerland, detail Moroccan researchers.
Around March 17, 2020, other strains of SARS-CoV-2 entered Morocco from the United States and Germany preceding other cases from China around March 22, 2020.
According to the results of the study, Morocco was affected by other forms of SARS-CoV-2 between April 16 and 19, 2020 from the United States and Vietnam, probably through trade. maritime transport which continued during the containment period.
According to the analysis of Moroccan researchers, it is more likely that the virus circulated clandestinely at the beginning of February, before the official discovery of the first case on March 2, 2020. They also point out that the genomes of the virus from Moroccan patients presented between 4 and 16 mutations compared to the common ancestor which appeared in 2019 in Wuhan, China.
In their approach, Moroccan scientists have identified and grouped the different SARS-Cov-2 variants into 11 clades (a group of organisms comprising a particular organism and all of its descendants). During the analysis, they found that genomes of the Moroccan SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus included 9 viruses belonging to clade 20A and 9 others to clade 20B, the one to which the British variant is a part, and 2 viruses from clade 20C. Anything that shows that the virus has entered the territory through several exits and in various forms.