Maputo — The Mozambican health authorities on Wednesday reported a further 2,460 new cases of the Covid-19 respiratory disease, setting a new record for the largest number of cases diagnosed in a single 24 hour period.
According to a Wednesday press release from the Health Ministry, there were also 26 deaths from Covid-19. These latest victims were 14 men and 12 women, aged between 18 and 90. 25 were Mozambican citizens and one was a foreigner (in line with its standard practice, the Ministry did not reveal the nationality of the foreign victim).
14 of these deaths occurred in Maputo city, four in Matola, two in Niassa, two in Inhambane, one in Tete and one in Sofala. (The Ministry has made a mathematical error, since these figures give a total of 24 deaths, not 26), Assuming the figure of 26 to be correct, this brings the total Covid-19 death toll in Mozambique to 1,367. Of these deaths, 489 (35.7 per cent) occurred this month.
Since the start of the pandemic, 719,934 people have been tested for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, 6,973 in the previous 24 hours. 4,513 of these tests yielded negative results, while 2,460 people tested positive for the coronavirus. This brings the total number of Covid-19 cases diagnosed in Mozambique to 115,886.
1,381 of Wednesday's new cases were women or girls and 1,079 were men or boys. 241 were children under 15 years of age, and 121 were over 65 years old. In 33 cases, no age information was available.
56.2 per cent of the new cases were from the far south - 916 from Maputo city and 466 from Maputo province. There were also 231 positive cases from Inhambane, 211 from Sofala, 188 from Niassa, 131 from Gaza, 125 from Manica, 95 from Zambezia, 42 from Tete, 38 from Nampula and 17 from Cabo Delgado.
The national positivity rate (the proportion of those tested found to be infected with the virus) on Wednesday was 35.3 per cent. The rates over the past few days were 30.1 per cent on Tuesday, 34.6 per cent on Monday and 34.1 per cent on Monday. Thus around a third of all those tested are proving to be infected with the coronavirus.
The provinces with the highest positivity rates were Niassa (52.5 per cent), Inhambane (44 per cent), Maputo province (43.5 per cent), Maputo city (39.1 per cent), and Sofala (37.1 per cent). The lowest positivity rate was found in the northern province of Cabo Delgado (4.6 per cent) - the only province where the rate dropped below ten per cent.
In the same 24 hour period, 67 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospital (37 in Maputo, nine in Sofala, eight in Inhambane, five in Zambézia, five in Matola, and one each in Niassa, Tete and Manica). But 105 new patients were admitted (70 in Maputo, 10 in Matola, seven in Sofala, seven in Inhambane, four in Manica, three in Zambezia, two in Niassa and two in Gaza).
The number of people under medical care in the Covid-19 treatment facilities rose from 473 on Tuesday to 484 on Wednesday. The majority of these patients - 331 (68.4 per cent) - were in Maputo. There were also 58 patients in Matola, 31 in Sofala, 15 in Niassa, 12 in Zambezia, 10 in Manica, 10 in Inhambane, nine in Tete, five in Gaza and three in Nampula. Cabo Delgado remained the only province where no Covid-19 patients are hospitalised.
The Ministry also reported that on Wednesday 345 people were declared fully recovered from Covid-19 (302 in Sofala and 43 in Nampula). The total number of recoveries now stands at 86,423, which is 74.6 per cent of all those ever diagnosed with Covid-19 in Mozambique.
With the number of new cases greatly outstripping the number of recoveries, the number of active Covid-19 cases has continued to rise - from 26,003 on Tuesday to 28,092 on Wednesday. The geographical distribution of these cases was as follows: Maputo city, 17,415 (62 per cent of the total); Maputo province, 4,537; Inhambane, 1,817; Niassa, 1,084; Manica, 884; Sofala, 664; Gaza, 575; Tete, 498; Zambezia, 306; Nampula, 249; and Cabo Delgado, 63.