Maputo — Mozambican Health Minister Armindo Tiago announced on Tuesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease.
In a press release, Tiago said the test was administered on Monday morning, as a routine preparation for a trip abroad.
"I have no symptoms", said the Minister. "I am physically and mentally fit. I am infected, but I am not ill".
Because of his work, and its underlying risks, Tiago has been taking tests regularly. The previous test, last week, was negative.
The result of such a test is only for the knowledge of the person tested. However, Tiago had decided to make his result public "Since I am the Minister of Health, I believe I can transform this situation into a moment of learning for myself and for others", he said.
"Many of us will have this virus at some point in our lives", he added. "Nobody in this world can say that they are immune to the coronavirus. What we can do is embrace more vigorously the struggle to protect and to care for the people who live and work with us".
In compliance with the standard Ministry of Health procedure, Tiago has gone into home isolation. He also urged anyone who has been in contact with him to be tested for the virus. Tests have already been administered to his immediate family, and to those he works with in the Health Ministry.
He was sharing this information, he added, as a means of urging his fellow citizens to strengthen preventive measures against Covid-19 "for the good of the Mozambican nation".
"I wish to recognize the effort and sacrifice that Mozambicans have made so that we face this situation together", concluded Tiago. "We still have battles to win. And we shall win them, by using science, civic awareness and the solidarity that characterises us as Mozambicans".
Tiago is the second prominent Mozambican politician to publicly announce that he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Eneas Comiche, the Mayor of Maputo, tested positive in March. He contracted the disease after a visit to London, and became the first known case of Covid-19 in Mozambique. He was clear of the infection by mid-April.