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    New COVID-19 Variants: Morocco to Carry Out Tests on 30,000 Students

    The operation will take place in collaboration with Morocco’s Ministry of Education.

    12 Jan 2021

    Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Health has announced that a screening operation for COVID-19 will be carried out for 30,000 middle and high school students in six regions across the country.

    The decision seeks to “estimate” the level of the spread of COVID-19 among younger Moroccans , according to the ministry.

    The ministry said that the operation, which is part of the national plan for monitoring and responding to COVID-19, comes after the appearance of new variants of the pandemic.

    The ministry said that the variants are characterized by “grater transmission among young people.

    The campaign will cover the regions of Casablanca-Settat, Rabat-Sale Kenitra, Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, Fez-Meknes, Marrakech-Safi, and Souss-Massa.

    “The objective of this action is to estimate the level of circulation of the virus in the population under 18 years old and to genetically characterize the circulating variants,” the ministry said.

    The operation will be carried out in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

    The operation will concern 10,000 students from the Casablanca-Settat region and 2,000 students in each of the other regions.

    “Given the importance of this operation, the ministry calls for the collection and delivery of samples to the designated laboratories, in accordance with procedures detailing the technical, operational, and ethical aspects that will be communicated by the epidemiology department and disease control,” noted the ministry’s statement.

    A number of countries have reported the detection of new COVID-19 variants, including the UK and Denmark.

    The UK announced that While the new strain is more contagious than earlier variants of the virus, it is not more deadly.

    Morocco has not reported any new COVID-19 variant to date, but the number of COVID-19 cases are still increasing.

    Since the pandemic started in Morocco, over 4 million people have tested negative for COVID-19, according to official figures.

    Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in Morocco reached 452,988, including 426,006 recoveries, and 7,767 deaths.

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