Morocco’s face mask production allows the country to be an important exporter in the global market of protective medical gear amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reported French newspaper Le Monde on Friday, May 1.
Morocco currently produces 7 million masks per day. The production exceeds national demand and allows the country to export masks to the hardest-hit European countries, such as Spain and France.
In March, the Moroccan Ministry of Industry announced several textile companies would start exclusively producing face masks and protective gear to protect the public from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The initiative [was a source of] pride for Moroccans and admiration of politicians around the world,” Le Monde commented.
Quoting Morocco’s Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Le Monde revealed that 34 Moroccan companies are currently manufacturing face masks, including five that are exporting half of their production to Europe.
The Ministry of Industry will give more export authorizations to Moroccan production units in the coming weeks, given the number of requests from foreign countries, the newspaper added.
After the launch of face mask production in Moroccan factories, the ministry quickly fixed their retail price at MAD 0.8 (nearly US$0.1) per mask in Morocco to prevent fraud and speculation.
The ministry also developed a supply plan to make face masks available in 66,000 sales outlets across Morocco and avoid any shortage.
On April 7, after Morocco’s production of face masks became sufficient to meet national demands, the Moroccan government made wearing masks in public spaces and in the workplace mandatory.
Moroccan citizens and residents who venture outside without face masks risk fines ranging between MAD 300 (US$30) and MAD 1,000 (US$100).
The decision to enforce the use of masks came as Morocco had confirmed 1,000 COVID-19 cases. As of May 1, the country has recorded 4,569 COVID-19 cases, including 1,083 recoveries and 171 deaths.