In Morocco, the epidemiological situation is worrying and the number of positive cases for Covid-19 is likely to rise considerably during the coming days, affirmed the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Khalid Ait Taleb.
In an interview with MoroccoLatestNews Ar, the minister sounded the alarm concerning the epidemiological situation in the Kingdom and the spread of the new Omicron variant which is five times more contagious than the Delta, but less virulent.
This concern is largely linked to the uncertainty that hangs over this new variant and the lack of scientific data so far, which prevents specialists from projecting themselves on the epidemiological repercussions in the long and short term.
” Today, we know that Omicron is spreading rapidly. And when the virus spreads quickly, the number of infected people will multiply, and if it reproduces rapidly, the health system will be threatened. The larger the area of infection, the more people there are at risk among those infected and the greater the risk of complications and death, which requires more caution and vigilance.“, Explained the minister.
Having no visibility on the date of the peak in Morocco, the minister insisted on respecting the barrier measures (wearing a mask, distancing, etc.), adhering to the vaccination campaign and limiting gatherings as much as possible to avoid clusters.
Moroccan Omicron, the how of the why
While Morocco had closed its borders since the end of November 2021 following the spread of Omicron around the world, the Ministry of Health announced on December 15 the detection of the first Omicron case in Casablanca … developed in Morocco.
Information that raised several questions and created a wide controversy, that Khalid Ait Taleb was kind enough to clarify.
” In epidemiology, when a variant is detected by genomic monitoring, in view of the closed borders and the absence of contact of the infected person with strangers, we are content to first determine the place of its detection. As you know, the virus has no nationality and does not need a visa to travel. Rather, it travels from country to country and can spread through humans, and objects, etc.“, Explained the minister.
Regarding the Omicron case identified in the city of Casablanca, the minister indicated that the first case was detected in Ben M’sik, then a second outbreak appeared in Anfa. ” At that time, I said that since there is a second outbreak that has no connection with the first, the virus is present in the city of Casablanca.“, Underlined the Minister.
For the government official, ” one should not limit oneself to the nationality of the virus. Either way, there is a virus that has spread, which calls for maintaining people’s health. That was the equation” , he said.
50% of people with REA are not vaccinated
Today, administration of the 3rd dose of the anti-covid vaccine has become possible 4 months after the 2nd dose. A measure which also raised several questions and pushed the most skeptics to camp even more on their position not to be vaccinated, especially since they believe that a 4th and 5th dose and more await them.
In this regard, the Minister first clarified that the third dose is a booster dose, noting that ” most of the patients present in intensive care are 6 months past the date of the injection of the second dose of the vaccine. This means that they are no longer protected and are in danger.“.
” It has been scientifically proven that the protection conferred by the first and second doses begins to wane after three months. This means that a third dose is needed to boost immunity, and this dose has been confirmed to restore 75% of immunity against the virus. If we regain that 75% immunity, we can protect ourselves from the Omicron. Because it is also a question of strengthening the immunity of the cells and not only of the antibodies since the cells also have a memory“, Explained the minister.