Private clinics in Morocco charge $413 for COVID-19 screening tests
London, June 8, 2020 (AltAfrica)- Private clinics in Morocco have turned the coronavirus pandemic to lucrative business by charging MAD 4,000, equivalent to $413 for COVID-19 screening tests.
The Moroccan government has authorized the resumption of business activity, provided that businesses submit their employees to mandatory COVID-19 screening tests as part of the preventive measures necessary for gradual deconfinement.
Companies should provide COVID-19 testing kits for their employees, but some individuals prefer to consult private clinics for screenings.
In Casablanca, private sector employees who sought out tests at private clinics were surprised by the exorbitant costs, Al Massae reported, using corresponding documents to confirm the high charges.
The exorbitant screening test fee is in addition to separate consultation fee
Other companies have benefited from free COVID-19 screenings after submitting requests to the Ministry of Health and providing a list of the names of its employees.
After a week of recording several hundred recoveries per day, Morocco has seen an emergence of new hotspots that have resulted in an increase in new cases and significantly fewer daily recoveries.
Morocco’s Ministry of Health reported 73 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 8,224 as at June 7.
Morocco also confirmed 49 new recoveries in 24 hours, bringing the country’s total to 7,364. The recovery rate stands now at 89.5%.
The ministry did not report any additional deaths related to the virus, leaving total deaths at 208. The fatality rate stands at 2.5%
Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani expressed on June 4 his confidence in King Mohammed VI’s call for mass COVID-19 testing of private-sector employees to speed up the resumption of economic activity in Morocco.
He said doing so will accelerate Morocco’s economic recovery, allow millions to safely return to their commercial and professional activities, and reduce the lockdown’s negative impacts on households.
The King ordered the Ministry of Health on June 3 to make its resources available to the General Confederation of Enterprises of Morocco (CGEM) to this end. The campaign should take into account the health constraints “inherent in workplaces,” said a joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the CGEM.
Local media outlets have reported that the Moroccan government intends to announce a third extension of the state of emergency and lockdown that may last beyond June.
Should El Othmani announce an extension on June 10, it remains to be seen how the decision would impact Morocco’s gradual resumption of business activities.