Mozambique: Coronavirus Patient Dies - But Not From COVID-19, Says Health Ministry

Maputo — The Mozambican Ministry of Health on Tuesday announced that a Mozambican citizen infected by the coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease has died, but denied that Covid-19 was the cause of death.

Speaking at the Ministry's daily press conference on the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Director of Public Health, Rosa Marlene, said the dead man was a Mozambican citizen, aged between 40 and 49, from the town of Palma, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. He was diagnosed with the coronavirus on Friday, and went into home isolation.

He was asymptomatic, and at the time of the diagnosis he did not require any hospitalisation or treatment. But on Tuesday he fell into a coma and at about 11.00 he was taken to the nearest health unit, where he died a few minutes later.

The clinical picture of this death, said Marlene, indicated that the man died, not of Covid-19, but from "another pathology", which she did not name.

"The death is not related with the pandemic", she said. "He was always asymptomatic. He presented no sign or symptom of Covid-19 that could have worsened his condition. But he showed other symptoms, that were signs of a different disease which caused his death".

Marlene also announced that, for the first time, a man diagnosed with Covid-19 has been hospitalised. This patient is about 60 years old, she said, and was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Monday. He has been hospitalised in a Maputo city health unit where "he is under observation and medical care, pending a final diagnosis".

Marlene said the number of people tested for Covid-19 in Mozambique since the crisis began has now risen to 6,537, 265 of whom were tested in the previous 24 hours - 256 in the laboratory of the National Health Institute (INS), and nine in private laboratories authorised to undertake the tests.

The vast majority - 264 - of these cases were negative, and just one tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the number of positive cases in Mozambique to 146. The new positive case is a Belgian citizen aged between 25 and 34 who had worked at the camp operated by the French oil and gas company Total on the Afungi Peninsular in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

Marlene said this case was discovered during the retesting of people placed under quarantine in Afungi. The Belgian showed no symptoms, and has been placed under home isolation in Maputo.

In the previous 24 hours, two other coronavirus cases were completely cured, said Marlene. Both are from the Cabo Delgado provincial capital, Pemba. One is a Mozambican girl aged between five and 14, and the other is a South African man, aged between 45 and 59. Both of these cases were asymptomatic, and both had been kept under home isolation until the infection ended.

Mozambique's key Covid-19 statistics, as of Tuesday, are: 146 confirmed cases, of whom 48 have made a complete recovery and 98 are active cases. One case has been hospitalised, and there are no confirmed deaths.

The distribution of the positive cases by province is as follows: Cabo Delgado, 85; Maputo city, 37; Maputo province, 12; Sofala, eight; Inhambane, two; Tete, one; and Manica, one.

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