Maputo — The Mozambican health authorities on Saturday announced that a further 20 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease, bringing the total number of cases diagnosed since the start of the pandemic to 688.
Speaking at the Ministry of Health's daily press conference on the Covid-19 situation, the National Director of Public Health, Rosa Marlene, said that to date 23,104 people have been tested for the coronavirus, 841 of them in the previous 24 hours.
Of the samples tested, 159 were from Maputo city, 134 from Manica, 108 from Cabo Delgado, 107 from Maputo province, 98 from Zambezia, 83 from Sofala, 73 from Nampula, 59 from Tete, 19 from Gaza and one from Inhambane.
821 of the samples were negative, and 20 tested positive for the coronavirus. 19 of these new cases are Mozambicans and one is a Portuguese citizen. All show only mild symptoms of Covid-19. In line with standard Ministry of Health procedure, all have been told to undergo home isolation. Staff are tracing their contacts.
Seven of the new cases are from Nampula city, the one place in Mozambique where, according to the health authorities, the Covid-19 pandemic has entered the phase of community transmission.
Five cases are from Pemba, capital of Cabo Delgado province, two are from Tete city, two are from Maputo city, and two are from the adjoining city of Matola. One case is from Quelimane, capital of Zambezia, and one is from Buzi district in Sofala province.
Marlene said that, of the eight Covid-19 patients who had been hospitalized, two, one from Cabo Delgado and one from Maputo City, have been discharged. Although they are no longer considered as in danger, they are still infected and can transmit Covid-19. They must remain in home isolation until the coronavirus infection has completely cleared up.
As of Saturday, the distribution of the positive cases by province was as follows: Nampula, 220; Cabo Delgado, 205; Maputo City, 114; Maputo province, 75; Tete, 25; Sofala, 16; Inhambane, 13; Niassa, nine; Zambezia, six; Gaza, four; Manica, three.
The basic Covid-19 statistics for Mozambique are now: 668 confirmed cases, of which 177 have made a full recovery, and 506 are active cases). Five Covid-19 patients have died, four from the disease, and one from an unrelated pathology.
As for Mozambicans returning from abroad, particularly from South Africa, the director of surveys of the National Health Institute (INS), Sergio Chicumbe, told the press conference that everything is done to ensure that they remain in quarantine for the required 14 days.
"Conditions are created for them to remain in quarantine", he said. Where this cannot be done at wherever they entered the country, they are sent on to their destinations, where they should also obey the quarantine rule.
"In the great majority of cases, the health authorities accompany this process", Chicumbe added.