Maputo — Mozambique's National Director of Public Health, Rosa Marlene, announced on Wednesday that the number of Covid-19 patients whose condition is deemed serious enough to warrant hospitalisation has risen from three to eight.
Speaking in Maputo, at the Ministry of Health's daily press conference on the Covid-19 situation, Marlene said that four of those hospitalised are in the northern city of Nampula, three are in Maputo city, and one is in the central province of Sofala.
All these patients are in isolation wards. Marlene said that seven have slight to moderate symptoms of Covid-19, but the eighth, hospitalised in Nampula, "is in a serious condition" and has been placed in intensive care.
Asked whether more people diagnosed with Covid-19 should not be hospitalised, Sergio Chicumbe, the director of surveys at the National Health Institute (INS), said a technical team is working on appropriate criteria for hospitalising the most vulnerable of Covid-19 patients, namely children, the elderly and those suffering from other underlying health problems.
Nonetheless, he clearly regarded hospitalisation as a last resort. Hospitalising patients in isolation wards "has been very expensive, and we do not forget that we are a country with limited resources. So all the criteria under revision take into account the question of cost-effectiveness".
Marlene told the reporters that, since the start of the pandemic, 21,014 people have been tested for Covid-19, 751 of them in the previous 24 hours.
Of the samples tested, 197 came from Maputo province, 157 from Maputo City, 143 from Nampula, 86 from Cabo Delgado, 70 from Inhambane, 54 from Zambezia, 19 from Gaza, 13 from Tete, seven from Sofala, four from Manica and one from Niassa.
738 of these samples proved negative, and 13 tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of positive cases diagnosed in Mozambique to 651. All 13 new cases are Mozambican citizens. Seven are men and six are women. One is a child under 15 years of age, two are adolescents aged between 15 and 24, nine are aged between 25 and 54, and one is over 55 years old.
Eight are from Nampula province - six from Nampula city and two from Mogovolas district. Three are from Maputo province (two from Matola city and one from Marracuene district), one is from Maputo city, and one is from Pemba, capital of Cabo Delgado. Ten of these cases were discovered through tracing the contacts of people diagnosed previously.
In line with standard Health Ministry procedure, all 13 new cases have been instructed to go into home isolation, and staff are tracing their contacts.
Marlene added that nine Covid-19 patients (five men and four women) made a full recovery over the previous 24 hours. Six of these were from Cabo Delgado, two from Sofala and one from Maputo province. This brings the total number of recoveries to 169.
As of Wednesday, the breakdown of the positive cases by province was as follows: Nampula, 212; Cabo Delgado, 198; Maputo City, 106; Maputo province,70; Tete, 19; Sofala, 15; Inhambane 12; Niassa, seven; Zambezia, five; Gaza, four; Manica, three.
Mozambique's key Covid-19 statistics now stand at: 651 confirmed cases, of which 169 have made a full recovery, and 477 are active cases. Five Covid-19 patients have died, four from the disease, and one from an unrelated cause.
419 of the positive cases (64 per cent) are men and 232 (36 per cent) are women. 595 (91 per cent) are Mozambican citizens and 56 (nine per cent) are foreigners.