Maputo — Field work for the epidemiological survey on the spread of the Covid-19 respiratory disease in the northern city of Nampula ended on Sunday.
Speaking in Maputo, at the Ministry of Health's daily press conference on the Covid-19 situation, the general director of the National Health Institute (INS), Ilesh Jani, said that a preliminary analysis of the data is already under way, and the INS hopes to release preliminary results in early January.
The purpose of the survey, Jani said, is to identify the areas within Nampula city where the highest transmission of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 takes place, and to identify the professional groups most exposed to the virus. The survey, he added, will "help understand the factors associated with the higher transmission of the virus in the city".
The Health Ministry has identified Nampula city as the first place in the country where Covid-19 has made the transition from an epidemic with foci of transmission to an epidemic with community transmission. Community transmission of the virus has also begun in Pemba, capital of Cabo Delgado province, and a similar epidemiological survey will now be held in Pemba.
Jani pointed out that the number of Covid-19 cases is continuing to grow in Africa, and in the world, "showing that the pandemic is still far from its end".
Summarising the latest epidemiological data, Jani said the rate of positivity (percentage of tested cases that prove positive for the coronavirus) in Mozambique remains three per cent - the same as last week.
But there are significant differences between provinces. The positivity rate for Nampula was 11.5 per cent and for Cabo Delgado it was 6.1 per cent. In every other province, the rate is well below two per cent. In Maputo City it is 1.79 per cent, and in Manica it is only 0.38 per cent.
When Mozambique is compared with other members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the figures show that it has a lower Covid-19 death rate than any other SADC country on the southern African mainland. In Mozambique there have been 0.2 Covid-19 deaths per million inhabitants, a figure only beaten by Namibia, where there have been no deaths at all.
Jani also updated Mozambique's coronavirus figures. He said that, since the start of the pandemic, the health authorities have tested 28,586 people, 631 of them in the previous 24 hours.
Of the samples tested, 234 came from Maputo province, 161 from Cabo Delgado, 97 from Sofala, 85 from Maputo City, 44 from Gaza, four from Nampula, four from Zambezia and two from Inhambane. 611 of these suspect cases proved negative, but the remaining 20 tested positive from Covid-19, bringing the number of positive cases detected in Mozambique to 859.
Jani said the latest cases are all Mozambican citizens. 18 (90 per cent) are men and two are women. Six are adolescents and youths aged between 15 and 24. 13 are adults aged between 25 and 64. Just one of the positive cases is over 60 years old.
Four of the new cases are from Pemba, and 11 are from Maputo province (one from the city of Matola, and ten from Boane district. Four cases are from Sofala - three from the city of Beira and one from Chibabava district. The final case is from Chokwe district, in Gaza province.
In line with standard Ministry of Health procedures, all the new positive cases are subject to home isolation, and their contacts are being traced.
Jani said that five Covid-19 patients remain hospitalised, two in the isolation ward in Nampula, one in Maputo city, one in Beira and one in Gaza.
Three more Covid-19 patients made a complete recovery in the previous 24 hours, one in Tete and two in Cabo Delgado. This brings the number of people who have fully recovered from Covid-19 to 228.
The geographical breakdown of the 859 positive cases by province, as of Sunday, was as follows: Nampula, 277; Cabo Delgado, 261; Maputo city, 136, Maputo province, 96; Tete, 23; Sofala, 21; Niassa 14; Inhambane, 13; Zambezia, eight; Gaza, seven; Manica, three.
Thus Mozambique's key Covid-19 statistics now stand at: 859 confirmed cases, of whom 228 have made a full recovery, and 624 are active cases. In addition seven Covid-19 patients have died, five from the disease itself, and two from unrelated pathologies.