Mozambique: Health Ministry Advises Against Travel Over Holidays

Maputo — Mozambique’s Deputy National Director of Public Health, Benigna Matsinhe, on Monday urged Mozambicans to stay at home during the coming Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Speaking at a Maputo press conference, Matsinhe noted that there was already unusually heavy traffic on the roads, as people moved between cities, districts and provinces. She insisted that, unless absolutely necessary, travel during the festive season should be avoided in order to reduce contamination by the Covid-19 respiratory disease.

Anyone who did have to travel, she said, should respect the basic preventive measures against Covid-19 during their journey. These measures include regular hand washing, social distancing, avoiding queues, and wearing masks in public places.

Matsinhe announced another death from Covid-19, bringing the country’s total death toll to 143. The latest victim was a 69 year old Mozambican woman, admitted to hospital in Maputo, Her condition did not improve, and she died on Sunday.

Since the start of the pandemic, Matsinhe said, 249,302 people have been tested for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, 826 of them in the previous 24 hours. Of the samples tested, 359 were from Maputo city, 150 from Cabo Delgado, 63 from Manica, 62 from Maputo province, 62 from Tete, 61 from Zambezia, 40 from Sofala, 28 from Gaza and one from Inhambane. There were no tests in Nampula or Niassa provinces.

778 of the tests gave negative results, and 48 people tested positive for the coronavirus. Since the first case of the disease was notified on 22 March, Moçambique has diagnosed 17,002 people with the coronavirus. Of the new cases. 47 are Mozambicans, and the 48th is a foreigner whose nationality is currently unknown.

30 of these cases are women or girls and 18 are men or boys. Nine are children under 15 years of age, and one is over 65 years old. Most cases are in the 25 to 64 year age bracket. 24 of the new cases are from Maputo city, two from Maputo province, 14 from Zambezia and eight from Tete.

Matsinhe said that, in line with standard health ministry procedure, all 48 new cases are now in home isolation, and their contacts are being traced.

Over the previous 24 hours, three Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospital (one in Zambezia and two in Maputo city), but three others were admitted (two in Maputo city and one in Matola). Currently, 29 people are under medical care in the Covid-19 isolation wards (24 in Maputo, two in Matola, one in Cabo Delgado, one in Zambezia and one in Tete),.

Matsinhe said that 13 of those hospitalised are in a “moderate” condition, 11 are seriously ill and four are in a critical state. Most are suffering from other chronic conditions in addition to Covid-19, notably diabetes and high blood pressure.

Matsinhe said that, over the same 24 hour period, 188 people made a full recovery from Covid-19 (152 in Maputo city, 12 in Zambezia, 10 in Manica, 10 in Nampula and four in Inhambane). This brings the total number of recoveries to 15,006 – which is 88.3 per cent of all those diagnosed with the coronavirus in Mozambique.

There are now 1,849 active Covid-19 cases in Mozambique, distributed as follows: Maputo city, 1,458 (79 per cent of the total); Maputo province, 139; Cabo Delgado, 77; Gaza, 44; Niassa, 35; Tete, 23; Zambezia, 22; Sofala, 18; Inhambane, 18; Nampula, 12; Manica, three.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique