Maputo — Mozambique's Deputy National Director of Public Health, Benigna Matsinhe, on Monday announced that a further 14 patients have died of the Covid-19 respiratory disease.
Speaking at a Maputo press conference, she said that ten of the victims were men and four were women, all of Mozambican nationality. They were aged between 49 and 84. Seven of the deaths occurred in Maputo health units, three in Matola, three in Gaza and one in Nampula. Five of the deaths occurred on Sunday, and one on Monday. The other eight occurred between 9 and 23 January. One took place as long ago as 9 January, and it is not clear why it took a fortnight to enter the Ministry's statistics.
The total death toll from Covid-19 in Mozambique now stands at 319. Almost half of these deaths - 153 - occurred in the first 25 days of January. 252 of the deaths (79 per cent) took place in Maputo city.
Matsinhe said that, since the start of the pandemic, 325,910 people have been tested for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, 1,042 of them in the previous 24 hours. Of the samples tested, 260 were from Maputo city, 235 from Zambezia, 203 from Maputo province, 188 from Nampula, 70 from Inhambane, 52 from Gaza, 33 from Tete and one from Manica. No tests were reported from Cabo Delgado, Niassa or Sofala.
679 of the tests gave negative results, and 363 tested positive for the coronavirus. At first sight, this is a sharp reduction on the number of positive cases diagnosed in previous days - 790 on Sunday, 780 on Saturday, 623 on Friday and 829 on Thursday.
But in percentage terms there has been an increase in cases, not a reduction. 34.8 per cent of the tests reported on Monday were positive, compared with 27.2 per cent on Sunday, 28 per cent on Saturday, 20.8 per cent on Friday, and 27.1 per cent on Thursday.
Of the cases reported on Monday, 352 are known to be Mozambicans, and the nationality of the other 11 has yet to be confirmed. 194 are women or girls and 169 are men or boys. 41 are children under the age of 15, and 20 are over 65 years old. In eight cases, no age information was available.
As has become the norm, the majority of the new cases were from the far south - 118 from Maputo province and 99 from Maputo city. Thus Maputo city and province accounted for 59.8 per cent of all the cases reported on Monday. There were also 56 cases from Zambezia, 48 from Inhambane, 33 from Gaza and nine from Tete.
Matsinhe reported that, over the same 24 hour period, five Covid-19 patients had been discharged from hospital (three in Tete, one in Cabo Delgado and one in Gaza), but 19 new cases were admitted (16 in Maputo, and three in Gaza).
There are now 225 people under medical care in the Covid-19 isolation wards. The vast majority of these - 184 (81.8 per cent) - are in Maputo.12 cases are in Tete, six in Matola, six in Nampula, six in Zambezia, four in Gaza, three in Sofala, two in Inhambane and two in Manica. In the two northernmost provinces, Cabo Delgado and Niassa, no Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalised.
Matsinhe also reported the full recovery from Covid-19 of 452 people (219 from Nampula, 131 from Inhambane, 96 from Tete, and six from Zambezia). This brings the total number of recoveries to 21,011 - which is 64.1 per cent of all those diagnosed in Mozambique with the coronavirus.
Monday was the first day this year in which the number of recoveries reported by the Ministry outstripped the number of new cases. As a result the number of active cases fell slightly, to 11,447. They are distributed as follows: Maputo city, 5,543 (48.4 per cent of the total); Maputo province, 1,941; Gaza, 779; Manica, 732; Sofala, 631; Inhambane, 595; Zambezia, 414; Niassa, 384; Cabo Delgado, 232; Nampula, 110; Tete, 86.