Maputo — In Mozambique, the Covid-19 pandemic has thrown at least 39,500 workers out of their jobs, according to Labour and Social Security Minister Margarida Talapa.
Speaking on Thursday in the northern city of Nampula, Talapa said these redundancies resulted from the closure, suspension or reduction of labour in 1,150 enterprises across the country. This blow is to employment across the entire economy, but Talapa mentioned in particular the hotel industry, trade, transport, agriculture, construction, mining, timber and services.
She insisted that, despite Covid-19, the government is seeking strategies so that its labour and employment plans can be carried out successfully.
"We know that one of the promises made was to increase production and productivity, but the Covid-19 pandemic obliges us to draw up another strategy to implement this", she said.
Talapa did not like what she observed on the streets of Nampula, where many citizens are failing to wear masks and are oblivious to the need for social distancing.
"I saw that we still have a lot of work to do in Nampula", she said. "The number of Covid-19 cases announced by the Health Ministry is worrying, and the best remedy lies with us - that is, we have to comply with the state of emergency measures".
She appealed to workers and employers to act as social mobilisers to prevent any further spread of Covid-19. "To save our lives and those of our families we would like everyone to act as a mobiliser, so that we can strictly comply with the emergency measures, particularly regular hand washing and social distancing", she said.
Talapa also offered the Secretary of State for Nampula, Mety Gondola, 15,000 face masks, and assorted hygiene and cleaning material
"This is just a small contribution", she said. "We know it's not enough, but it adds to the efforts made by the province. We decided, through the National Social Security Institute (INSS) to distribute masks throughout the country to support the pensioners, other users of our services, and other needy groups".