Maputo — The Mozambican Ministry of Health has diagnosed a further ten cases of the coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease, pushing the total number of cases in the country up from 146 to 156.
Speaking on Wednesday, at the daily press conference on the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Director of Public Health, Rosa Marlene, said that, since the beginning of the crisis, 6,769 suspected cases have been tested, 232 of them in the previous 24 hours.
Of the samples tested, 89 were from the northern province of Cabo Delgado, 61 came from Maputo City, 42 from Sofala, 22 from Maputo province, 14 from Inhambane, two from Nampula, one from Tete and one from Gaza.
222 of the samples were negative, and ten tested positive for the coronavirus. Marlene said all these cases were Mozambican citizens. One was asymptomatic, while the other nine displayed moderate symptoms of Covid-19.
One of the new cases is a man, now resident in Maputo city, aged between 25 and 34, who had recently returned from the camp operated by the French oil and gas company Total on the Afungi Peninsula, in Cabo Delgado. The Total camp is at the heart of the largest known cluster of Covid-19 cases in the country.
Six of the new cases are from the neighbouring city of Matola, capital of Maputo province. Four are men and two are women. One is a five year old child, while the others are aged between five and 44 years.
There are two other new cases in Maputo province, in Boane district, one a man, one a woman, both aged between 35 and 44.
The tenth new case is a woman in Xai-Xai, capital of the southern province of Gaza, aged between 45 and 55. This is the first case diagnosed in Gaza: there known to be two other people with Covid-19 living in Gaza, but they were diagnosed in Maputo, before travelling to their homes in Gaza.
All ten new cases have been placed under home isolation, and health staff are tracing their contacts.
The distribution by province of the 156 positive cases is as follows: Cabo Delgado, 85; Maputo City, 38; Maputo province, 20; Sofala, eight; Inhambane, two; Manica, one; Tete, one; and Gaza, one.
122 of the positive cases are men and 34 are women. 115 are Mozambicans and 41 are foreigners.
Marlene stressed the importance of not breaking quarantine or isolation. Everyone entering Mozambique, who does not show symptoms of any respiratory disease, should go into home quarantine for 14 days. Similarly, people who have no symptoms, but have been in contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19, must self-quarantine for 14 days.
If people in home quarantine believe they are developing symptoms of Covid-19, they should immediately contact the health authorities.
All those who are diagnosed with Covid-19 must go into the stricter regime of home isolation, when they are not allowed direct contact even with family members. If their symptoms worsen, they too should immediately contact the health authorities.
People should only come out of quarantine, Marlene said, if, after 14 days, they have not developed any symptoms - but they must continue to practice social distancing and wear masks when outside the home.