Maputo — According to the latest statistics from the Mozambican health authorities, Thursday saw a new record set for the number of deaths from the Covid-19 respiratory disease in a single 24 hour period.
A Ministry of Health Thursday press release reported 24 deaths from Covid-19. The previous record had been set on Wednesday and on Sunday. On both those dates there were 20 deaths.
The latest victims were 17 men and seven women, all of them Mozambican citizens, and aged between 25 and 98. 16 of these deaths occurred in Maputo city, four in Maputo province, two in Sofala, one in Tete and one in Inhambane.
This brings the total Covid-19 death toll in Mozambique to 1,057. There were 179 deaths in the first 15 days of July - more than twice the number of deaths in the entire preceding three months (44 in June, 22 in May and 19 in April).
Since the start of the pandemic, 655,848 people have been tested for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, 4,603 of them in the previous 24 hours. As has become the norm, the majority of these tests were held in the areas worst hit by the disease - 1,523 in Maputo city, 939 in Tete and 622 in Maputo province. Thus Maputo (city and province) and Tete accounted for 67 per cent of all Thursday's tests.
There were also 367 tests in Inhambane, 345 in Niassa, 315 in Sofala, 126 in Nampula, 117 in Manica, 87 in Cabo Delgado, 84 in Gaza and 78 in Zambezia.
3,299 of the tests gave negative results, and 1,304 people tested positive for the coronavirus. This brings the total number of Covid-19 cases diagnosed in Mozambique to 94,733.
Most of the positive cases were from Maputo and Tete - 524 from Maputo city, 218 from Tete and 213 from Maputo province. These three provinces accounted for 73.2 per cent of all those who tested positive, There were also 81 cases from Niassa, 80 from Sofala, 79 from Inhambane, 64 from Manica, 22 from Gaza, 11 from Nampula, nine from Zambezia, and three from Cabo Delgado.
The national positivity rate (the proportion of those tested found to be infected with the virus) on Thursday was 28.3 per cent, considerably lower than the 35 per cent found on Wednesday, or the Monday rate of 45.1 per cent.
When broken down by province, the positivity rate is once again much higher in the south and centre of the country than in the provinces north of the Zambezi. The highest positivity rate found on Thursday was 54.7 per cent in Manica, followed by Maputo city (34.4 per cent), Maputo province (34.2 per cent), Gaza (26.2 per cent), Sofala (25.4 per cent), Niassa (23.5 per cent), Tete (23.2 per cent) and Inhambane (21.5 per cent).
Apart from Niassa, the northern provinces all had relatively low positivity rates of below 12 per cent - 11.5 per cent in Zambezia, 8.7 per cent in Nampula and 3.4 per cent in Cabo Delgado.
Over the same 24 hour period, 58 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospital (37 in Maputo, nine in Matola, four in Manica, three in Tete, three in Sofala and two in Niassa). But 69 new patients were admitted (39 in Maputo, eight in Matola, seven in Manica, six in Tete, five in Sofala, two in Inhambane, one in Zambezia and one in Inhambane).
The number of people under medical are in the Covid-19 treatment centres fell from 419 on Wednesday to 406 on Thursday - but this fall is largely due to the 24 deaths. The great majority of these patients, 271 (66.7 per cent), were in Maputo. There were also 44 patients in Sofala, 32 in Matola, 23 in Tete, nine in Gaza, nine in Manica, seven in Zambezia, seven in Inhambane, two in Niassa and two in Nampula. Cabo Delgado remained the only province where no Covid-19 patients were hospitalised.
On Thursday, 526 people were declared to have made a full recovery from Covid-19 (260 in Gaza, 219 in Sofala, and 47 in Niassa). The total number of recoveries now stands at 74,918, which is 79.1 per cent of all those ever diagnosed with Covid-19 in Mozambique.
This is an indication of how much the situation has deteriorated in just a few weeks. At the end of May, slightly more than 98 per cent of all positive cases had made a full recovery.
Since the number of new cases continues to outstrip the number of recoveries, the number of active Covid-19 continues to rise. It had fallen to 385 on 29 May, but has risen fairly steadily since then. It reached 18,754 on Thursday (up from exactly 18,000 on Wednesday). The geographical distribution of these cases was as follows: Maputo city, 10,235 (54.6 per cent of the total); Tete, 2,577; Maputo province, 2,540; Manica, 715; Gaza 697; Inhambane, 688; Sofala, 510; Niassa, 484; Zambezia, 146; Nampula, 129; and Cabo Delgado, 33.