The Moroccan government decides to treat the patients with chloroquine produced in a factory of the Sanofi group based in Casablanca.
Morocco is still relatively unaffected by the virus, but the number of reported cases increased from 8 to 61 in one week, with two deaths. Before things got worse, the authorities preferred to anticipate scientific recommendations. The Moroccan government has decided to treat Covid-19 positive patients with chloroquine, a drug currently produced in the country. He has just bought all the stocks from the Sanofi factory in Casablanca. Is Nivaquine or chloroquine, an old anti-malarial known for decades, the new decisive weapon against Covid-19? To date, however, WHO has reservations and scientists remain cautious.
In Marseille, infectious disease specialist Didier Raoult has been claiming for several days that the effect of Plaquenil (based on chloroquine) is effective for three quarters of infected patients. But the trial only involved 24 patients who did not have severe complications. It is therefore necessary, according to scientists, to push clinical trials further and on a larger workforce.
The Moroccan government has therefore not waited for the green light from WHO and scientists to act, while clinical trials are still being tested in several countries. According to the online site Yabiladi, Moroccans have already run out of stocks of Plaquenil (based on chloroquine) in pharmacies.
Authorities have started to make draconian decisions such as suspending international flights – a few thousand foreign tourists, many of them French, are still stranded awaiting a flight -, mbut also the closing of schools, universities, cultural and sporting places, cafes, restaurants, “non-essential” shops and finally mosques.
Moroccans are therefore urged to stay at home, a curfew has been introduced every evening from 6 p.m. “Jamaa el-Fna square is today completely empty, almost no car in the streets of Marrakech, a surreal image”, says Catherine D., a French woman living in Morocco for 15 years. Another measure: systematic disinfection of public places, supermarket checkouts, escalator ramps. But already, “meat and vegetable prices have doubled” and “the guesthouses have dismissed their employees”. Moroccans fear that a social crisis will add to the health crisis.