Mozambique: First COVID-19 Cases Diagnosed in Zambezia

Maputo — The central Mozambican province of Zambezia, the second most populous in the country, has recorded its first cases of the respiratory disease, Covid-19, according to the National Director of Public Health, Rosa Marleyn.

This means that, of Mozambique's 11 provinces, only Niassa, in the far north, has not yet diagnosed any cases of Covid-19.

Speaking in Maputo on Tuesday, at the Health Ministry's daily press conference on the Covid-19 crisis, Marlene said that, to date, 9,036 suspect cases have been tested, 240 of them in the previous 24 hours. Of these cases, seven were from Zambezia, two from Nampula, 163 from Maputo City and 68 from Maputo province.

236 of the samples taken tested negative, and the remaining four were positive for Covid-19, pushing the total number of positive cases in Mozambique up from 209 to 2013.

Marlene said all four of the new cases are Mozambican citizens. Two are asymptomatic and two show mild to moderate symptoms of the disease.

Two of the positive cases are a man and a woman, both in the 25-34 age group, living in the Zambezia provincial capital of Quelimane.

The other two cases are from the northern province of Nampula. Both are men - one in the 15-24 year age group, and the other in the 25-34 age bracket.

Marlene said the four new cases are in home isolation, and health staff are tracing their contacts.

She also announced that a child diagnosed as positive in the central city of Beira, but who had subsequently gone missing, has been located. Her mother had taken her to live with relatives in Changara district, in the western province of Tete.

Marlene said the child remains asymptomatic, and all her contacts - in Beira, in Changara and during her journey - are being traced.

The distribution of the 213 positive cases by province, as of Tuesday, is as follows: Cabo Delgado, 116; Maputo City, 43; Maputo province. 22; Sofala, 12; Nampula, eight; Inhambane, three; Tete, three; Gaza, three; Zambezia, two; and Manica, one.

Mozambique's key Covid-19 statistics now stand at: 213 confirmed cases, of whom 71 have made a full recovery, one has died, one is currently hospitalised, and the other 140 are regarded as active cases.

As for two health workers infected in Cabo Delgado, Marlene was reluctant to give any details, on the grounds that Ministry policy is not to divulge information that could lead to the identification of specific individuals, and their possible stigmatisation.

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