Mozambique: Spread of Covid-19 ‘A Threat to Health and Stability’

Maputo — The Mozambican health authorities on Monday warned that the spread of the Covid-19 respiratory disease, particularly in Maputo city and province, is now “a threat to public health and to the socio-economic stability of the country”.

Speaking at a Maputo press conference, the Deputy National Director of Public Health, Benigna Matsinhe, said that, over the past fortnight, all the main indicators for Covid-19 have risen by more than 30 per cent.

This showed there were failings in carrying out the measures needed to prevent the spread of infection by the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. “We can be certain that, unless there is a radical change in behavior by all of us, investing in prevention and in eliminating all the risk factors that contribute to the spread of the disease, then we may be marching towards the collapse of our health system”, warned Matsinhe.

She pointed out that over 28 per cent of all cases, since the first patient was diagnosed with Covid-19 on 22 March have occurred in the first fortnight of September. In this period, 1,566 cases were diagnosed (an average of 112 a day), compared with 3,916 in the entire period from March to the end of August.

The number of Covid-19 patients, whose condition was serious enough to merit hospitalisation in isolation wards, doubled in just two weeks, she added, and there was a 34 per cent increase in the number of deaths.

Since the start of the pandemic, 115,588 people have been tested for the coronavirus, 1,255 of them in the previous 24 hours. 801 of these samples were tested in public facilities, and 454 in private laboratories. The private sector only tested samples from three provinces – Cabo Delgado (225), Maputo city (220), and Tete (nine).

Of all the samples tested, 462 were from Maputo city, 333 from Cabo Delgado, 241 from Zambezia, 98 from Inhambane, 93 from Maputo province, 14 from Nampula and 14 from Tete.

1,042 of the tests gave negative results, and 213 tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the second highest number of cases announced in a single day, beaten only by the 229 announced by the Health Ministry on Sunday. This brings the total number of positive cases diagnosed in Mozambique to 5,482.

209 of the new cases are Mozambicans, and four are foreigners (two Zimbabweans, a Filipino and a Pakistani). 114 are men or boys and 99 are women or girls. Eight are children under five years of age, and eight are over 65 years old.

121 cases are from Maputo city, 50 from Zambezia, 35 from Maputo province, five from Tete and two from Cabo Delgado. Unlike the Ministry’s normal practice, Matsinhe did not give a breakdown of the cases by district.

In line with standard Health Ministry procedure, all the new cases are in home isolation, and their contacts are being traced.

Matsinhe said the number of Covid-19 patients currently hospitalised is 26 (23 in Maputo city and one each in Nampula, Tete and Gaza).

Over the same 24 hour period, a further 64 people have made a full recovery from Covid-19 (30 in Maputo city, 20 in Niassa, 10 in Tete, three in Cabo Delgado and one in Zambezia). The total number of recoveries now stands at 3,024 (55.2 per cent of all positive cases).

As of Monday, the geographical breakdown of all 5,482 positive cases, by the provinces where they were diagnosed, was as follows: Maputo city, 2,250; Maputo province, 952; Cabo Delgado, 657; Nampula, 561; Zambezia, 223; Sofala, 197; Gaza, 186; Niassa, 150; Tete, 106; Inhambane, 102; Manica, 98.

The basic Covid-19 statistics for Mozambique are now: 5,482 confirmed cases of which 3,024 have made a complete recovery, and 2,419 are active cases. 39 Covid-19 patients have died, 35 from the disease, and four from other causes.

Matsinhe urged all of Mozambican society to take “a more conscious attitude and redouble efforts to prevent Covid-19”.

The basic preventive measures, she stressed, are wearing masks in public places, social distancing of at least 1.5 metres between people, and frequent washing of hands.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique