Maputo — There has been a gradual reduction in transmission of the Covid-19 respiratory disease, but this is no grounds for complacency, warned Mozambique's Deputy National Director of Public Health, Benigna Matsinhe, at a Maputo press conference on Monday.
The number of deaths from Covid-19 had also tailed off sharply in recent days, as had the number of people hospitalised with the disease.
Matsinhe recalled that, in late April, President Filipe Nyusi had said that the progress made in controlling the pandemic "is a gain that results from the collective effort and sacrifice of Mozambicans".
"For this reason, we must continue to be cautious, and we must not drop our guard", she said. All the main preventive measures against Covid-10 should remain in force - such as frequent washing of hands, the correct use of face masks, social distancing, and avoiding crowds.
Matsinhe said that, since the start of the pandemic, 521,347 people have been tested for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, 335 of them in the previous 24 hours. 185 of the samples tested were from Maputo city, and 37 from Maputo province. Thus, between them, Maputo city and province accounted for 66.3 per cent of Monday's new cases.
There were also 99 tests in Niassa, eight in Inhambane, three in Sofala, two in Tete and one in Manica. No tests were reported from the other four provinces (Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Gaza).
319 of the tests yielded negative results, and 16 people tested positive for the coronavirus. Eight of these were from Niassa, five from Maputo city and three from Maputo province.
The positivity rate (the proportion of those tested found to be infected) for this 24 hour period was 4.8 per cent. The rate was 2.4 per cent on Sunday, three per cent on Saturday, 3.3 per cent on Friday, 3.2 per cent on Thursday, 3.4 per cent on Wednesday, and 6.1 per cent on Tuesday. Thus for the past week on only one day has the positive rate exceeded five per cent.
The latest figures brought the number of people diagnosed with Covid-19 in Mozambique to exactly 70,000.
In the same 24 hour period six Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospital (five in Maputo and one in Inhambane) and two new cases were admitted, both in Maputo.
As of Monday, 38 people were under medical care in the Covid-19 treatment units (down from 42 on Sunday). 28 of these patients (73.7 per cent) were in Maputo. There were also five patients in Sofala, three in Nampula, one in Niassa and one in Zambezia. No patients were hospitalised in the Covid-19 facilities in Cabo Delgado, Manica, Tete, Inhambane, Gaza or Matola.
Of those hospitalised, 25 are men and 13 are women. 18 are over 60 years old, and 12 are aged between 45 and 59. Matsinhe described the clinical condition of 19 of the patients as "moderate", while 15 were seriously ill and four were in a critical state. Those four were on ventilators, while 27 others were receiving supplementary oxygen.
Matsinhe also reported that on Monday a further 394 people were declared fully recovered from Covid-19 (371 in Maputo city, nine in Maputo province, nine in Niassa, and five in Zambezia). The total number of recoveries now stands at 67,325, or 96.2 per cent of all those ever diagnosed with Covid-19 in Mozambique.
The number of active Covid-19 cases fell to 1,856 (down from 2,234 on Sunday). Maputo province has now over taken Maputo city as the area with most active cases. The geographical breakdown was as follows: Maputo province, 812 (43.8 per cent of the total), Maputo city, 489; Sofala, 293; Zambezia, 121; Nampula, 37; Gaza, 32; Inhambane, 23; Niassa, 20; Cabo Delgado. 17; Manica, 10; and Tete, two.
Matsinhe also announced that the second phase of the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 will be extended to 7 May, and will include media professionals among the target groups. It is expected that about 2,000 media workers will be vaccinated.
The second phase began on 19 April, and should have ended on 1 May. It was aimed at students on health courses, primary school teachers, prison inmates and staff, diabetics who had not been vaccinated in the first phase, and people with chronic renal, heart and respiratory illnesses.