Cape Town – Three suspected cases of monkeypox in Morocco have tested negative for the virus, the country’s health minister said on Wednesday, citing local media reports.
“Morocco is free of monkeypox at present,” Khalid Ait Taleb said in statements cited by local media.
On Tuesday, Morocco discovered three suspected cases of monkeypox, the first time this has happened in the kingdom, the health ministry announced.
"We have detected three suspected cases of monkeypox who are in good health and under medical supervision," said Dr Mouad Mrabet, co-ordinator of the National Centre for Emergency Public Health Operations.
According to a last update from the World Health Organization, there are 131 confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide and 106 other cases are being checked and tested.
Morocco and Sudan said they were closely monitoring the monkeypox outbreak after the suspected cases returned negative.
During his weekly briefing, Dr Ahmed Ogwell, deputy director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC), confirmed there was still no direct link.
The African CDC has called for heightened prevention and awareness of the disease.
Although risk to the general public is low, the Africa CDC says that the public should seek medical care immediately if they develop new, unexplained skin rash (lesions on any part of the body), with or without fever and chills, and avoid contact with others.
Meanwhile, the South African government said yesterday it would remain on high alert despite there being no cases of monkeypox detected in the country so far.
Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, said Cabinet was awaiting to receive counsel from the Department of Health following the outbreak of monkeypox in various parts of the world.