Maputo — A further nine people have been diagnosed with the Covid-19 respiratory disease, pushing the total number of positive cases in Mozambique up to 433, according to the National Director of Public Health, Rosa Marlene.
Speaking in Maputo on Monday, at the Health Ministry's daily press conference on the Covid-19 crisis, Marlene said that, since the start of the pandemic, 14,580 suspect cases have been tested in Mozambique, 554 of them in the previous 24 hours.
Marlene said that 268 of these samples came from Maputo city, 100 from Maputo province, 43 from Zambezia, 23 from Sofala, 17 from Cabo Delgado, 12 from Gaza, two each from Nampula and Inhambane, and one from Manica (something has gone awry with Marlene's figures, since they do not add up to 554).
She said 545 of the samples tested were negative, while nine were positive for Covid-19. All nine new cases are Mozambican citizens, and all except one are men. Eight are adults and one is a child under the age of 15.
Six of these cases are from Maputo Province, including four people who recently returned from South Africa and are believed to have brought the Coronavirus with them. One case (also a returnee from South Africa) was from Sofala, one from Cabo Delgado and one from Maputo City.
Following standard Health Ministry procedure, all nine new cases are now in home isolation, and health staff are tracing their contacts.
Marlene said the number of Covid-19 patients hospitalised has risen over the past 24 hours, from three to five. Four are in Nampula province, and one is in Inhambane. All are said to be in a stable condition.
A further four Covid-19 patients, three Mozambicans and a Brazilian, have made a full recovery. This figure includes one person who was hospitalised in Nampula. The total number of patients who have recovered now stands at 131.
As of Monday the breakdown of the positive cases by province was as follows: Cabo Delgado, 164; Nampula, 126; Maputo City, 68; Maputo Province, 40; Sofala, 13; Niassa, five; Tete, five; Inhambane, four; Gaza, three; Manica, three; Zambezia, two.
The basic Covid-19 statistics for Mozambique thus stood at: 433 confirmed cases, of which 131 have made a full recovery and 299 are active cases. Three Covid-19 patients have died, two from the disease, and one from an unrelated cause.
The deputy general director of the National Health Institute (INS), Eduardo Samo Gudo, assured reporters that the Ministry possesses a protocol for the regular testing of front line health workers, at highest risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
These workers were "a priority group", he said, in terms of the supply of individual protective equipment, psychological support and priority testing.
The Mozambican authorities would do all in their power to protect this group, said Samo Gudo, describing them "as the true heroes on the Coronavirus front. They never give up, and at no moment do they retreat".
If Mozambicans want to reduce the number of health workers exposed to the virus, he added, the best thing they can do "is comply with the measures imposed by the government under the state of emergency, and thus suppress the transmission of the virus".