Maputo — The number of confirmed cases in Mozambique of the coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease Covid-19 rose from 65 to 70 on Saturday, according to the National Director of Public Health, Rosa Marlene.
Speaking in Maputo on Saturday, at the daily press conference on the coronavirus pandemic given by the Ministry of Health, Marlene said that to date 1,575 suspect cases have been tested, 136 of them in the previous 24 hours, 131 of the latest tests proved negative for the coronavirus, but five were positive.
All five cases were workers at the camp of the French oil and gas company Total on the Afungi Peninsula, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. The five are now under home isolation in their houses in Afungi.
Of the 70 positive cases diagnosed so far, the great majority - 50 - are from Cabo Delgado, all of them connected with the Afungi Camp. There are also 15 cases from Maputo city, and five from the adjoining city of Matola.
Marlene said all of the five new cases are men. Two are Mozambican citizens, and three are foreigners (two Italians and one Turk). Three are aged between 35 and 44, and one is in the 44-59 age group. One is under 35 years old.
All five are asymptomatic. They were discovered through the patient work of contact tracing, under way since the first case in Afungi was announced on 1 April. But, in addition to contact tracing, the decision has been taken to test everybody at the Afungi camp.
Mozambique's key coronavirus statistics are now: 70 positive cases, of whom nine have made a full recovery, and 61 are regarded as active cases, and no deaths.
Once again Marlene appealed to citizens to stay at home, to avoid all unnecessary travel, and to wear face masks on public transport and anywhere else where a significant number of people gather.
She addressed moslems in particular, because the country has entered the fasting month of Ramadan. In previous years, Ramadan has been characterised by crowds at mosques for "iftar", the evening meal that breaks the day's fast.
Marlene urged moslems to reduce their number of visits to mosques and instead to pray individually at home. Similarly the evening meal should be taken at home. She also stressed the need for social distancing - particularly that when moslems offer "zakah" (charitable gifts), there should be a distance of at least 1.5 metres between the giver and he receiver.