Mozambique: Health Service On Maximum Alert Against Coronavirus

Maputo — The Mozambican Health Ministry on Thursday declared that the Health Surveillance System in the country is on maximum alert to detect any cases of the new strain of coronavirus that has caused hundreds of deaths in China.

In a note sent to the independent daily "O Pais", the Ministry said all citizens coming to Mozambique from countries where there have been cases of coronavirus are checked for symptoms on their arrival. There are health teams at all the main entry points, testing the temperature of arrivals - fever is one of the main symptoms of the coronavirus, and so people with abnormally high temperatures should be isolated.

But to date, the Ministry said, not a single traveller at any entry point has tested positive for coronavirus.

The note said the Ministry has noted the alarm expressed by some citizens at seeing people wearing face masks, and at the reports that some Chinese citizens have put themselves into voluntary quarantine in a hotel.

But there are no grounds for alarm, the Ministry said, since face masks and voluntary quarantine for up to 14 days are internationally recommended practices.

The Ministry recommends that anyone who has recently been in one of the countries affected by the virus and is now showing symptoms should immediately seek help at the nearest health unit.

The Ministry urges citizens to take basic hygiene precautions, such as covering one's mouth and nose with a mask or handkerchief, regularly washing hands, ensuring that all meat and eggs are cooked properly, washing thoroughly everything used at meals (plates, cups, and cutlery), and opening windows to allow circulation of air.

The National Immigration Service (SENAMI) said on Thursday that it will check the immigration status of the four Chinese in self-quarantine in a Maputo hotel.

But since they arrived at Maputo International Airport (on 30 January) it is highly unlikely that they entered the country illegally.

The Mozambican ambassador to China, Maria Gustava, believes the four are residents of Maputo, and so did not need entry visas.

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