Mozambique: Health Ministry Warns of Risks to Elderly

Maputo — The Mozambican Health Ministry on Monday warned that elderly people are particularly at risk from the Covid-19 respiratory disease.

Speaking at a Maputo press conference, the Deputy National Director of Public Health, Benigna Matsinhe, said that, of the 27 people who have died of Covid-19 in October, 16 - or 59.3 per cent - were over 60 years old.

"So we are repeating our appeal that special attention be paid, in terms of adopting Covid-19 prevention measures for people aged 60 and above, or who are suffering from any chronic illness", she said.

Matsinhe reported that, in the previous 24 hours, two more Covid-19 patients had died in Maputo city. They were both Mozambican men, one aged 36 and the other 83. The younger man was diagnosed with the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 on Friday, and died on Sunday. The 83 year old was diagnosed on Sunday, and died on Monday morning.

Matsinhe said that five Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospital in the same 24 hour period, but eight others were admitted, all in Maputo city. There are now 54 people under medical care in the Covid-19 isolation wards (50 in Maputo, three in Matola and one in Zambezia).

34 of these patients are men and 22 are women. Four are children under the age of 15, 24 are aged between 15 and 59, and 26 are aged 60 and above. The condition of 30 is said to be "moderate", while 21 are in a serious condition and three are critically ill. Most suffer from other chronic health problems, particularly diabetes (27.8 per cent), and high blood pressure (47.2 per cent).

Since the first case was diagnosed on 22 March, 181,272 people have been tested for the coronavirus, 1,215 of them in the previous 24 hours. All these tests were administered in public facilities.

Of the samples tested, 323 were from Maputo city, 308 from Maputo province, 290 from Zambezia, 92 from Sofala, 80 from Gaza, 42 from Inhambane, 39 from Tete, 23 from Nampula, 15 from Manica, two from Niassa and one from Cabo Delgado.

1,040 of the tests gave negative results, and 175 people tested positive for the coronavirus. This brings the total number of positive cases since the start of the pandemic to 12,161. Of the new cases, 174 are Mozambican and one is Cuban. 94 are women or girls and 81 are men or boys. 14 are children under the age of 15 and nine are over 65 years old. In four cases, no age information was available.

The tests showed once again that the disease is raging through Maputo city and province, but cases elsewhere in the country have slowed to a trickle. There were 108 cases in Maputo city, and 48 in Maputo province - so that, between them, they accounted for 89 per cent of the new cases. There were also six cases from Zambezia, five from Sofala, four from Manica, two from Inhambane and two from Gaza.

In line with standard Ministry of Health procedure, all the new cases are now in home isolation and their contacts are being traced.

Over the same 24 hour period, only one more person made a full recovery from Covid-19. This brings the number of recoveries to 9,254 (76.1 per cent of all people diagnosed with the coronavirus).

There are 2,815 currently active cases of Covid-19, and they are geographically distributed as follows: Maputo city, 2,014; Maputo province, 482; Sofala, 83; Cabo Delgado, 67; Gaza, 51; Tete, 28; Manica, 28; Niassa, 23; Nampula, 18; Zambezia 12; Inhambane, nine.

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