Maputo — Mozambique's National Director of Public Health, Rosa Marlene, announced on Tuesday that the number of people in the country who have tested positive for the coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease Covid-19 has risen from 21 to 28.
Speaking at a Maputo press conference, she said that so far 762 suspected cases of Covid-19 have been tested, 79 of them in the previous 24 hours. Of the new cases tested, 72 were negative and seven positive.
Six of the samples tested positive were from the camp of the French oil and gas company Total, on the Afungi Peninsula in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, and the seventh came from Maputo. But the seventh case was a contact of one of the people working at Afungi who were diagnosed earlier with Covid-19.
Thus the current Mozambican Covid-19 statistics are: 28 positive cases, of which two have fully recovered and the other 26 remain active, and no deaths. 14 of the positive cases come from Cabo Delgado, 12 from the Afungi camp, and two from the provincial capital, Pemba. The other 14 cases are from Maputo.
The deputy director of the National Health Institute (INS), Eduardo Samo Gudo, said that the latest team sent to Cabo Delgado had collected 40 samples from 76 known contacts of the initial positive cases in the province. These were flown to Maputo and tested on Tuesday morning in the INS laboratory.
Samples from the remaining contacts in Cabo Delgado are expected to reach Maputo by Wednesday afternoon. With each new positive case, the health authorities embark upon contact tracing. All contacts are first quarantined for 14 days, and anyone testing positive for coronavirus is put into isolation.
All 26 active cases are only showing slight symptoms, and none of them are ill enough to be hospitalised, said Samo Gudo.
The INS statistics show that, since the crisis began, 460,134 people (Mozambicans and foreigners) have entered the country, and all have been screened. 1,855 of these travellers are still in quarantine.
Marlene warned that people over 60 years of age, the seriously obese, and those with chronic illnesses (such as HIV, diabetes, tuberculosis or heart problems are at risk of developing complications from the coronavirus.
People in these groups should pay redoubled attention to basic precautions, such as frequent hand washing and social distancing. But they should also increase their stock of essential medicines in order to avoid trips to health units, and closely monitor their health so that, at the first sign of possible Covid-19 symptoms (fever, coughing or breathing difficulties), they contact their doctor.