Southern and Eastern Africa COVID-19 Digest (Discontinued on 31 Aug 2020)

Situation Report
Mozambique — Trends
Mozambique - Metuge
A woman washes her hands at shelter distribution for displaced families in Metuge district in Cabo Delgado. To prevent a possible spread of COVID-19, the distribution is carried out in a small group size, keeping social distancing and including handwashing facilities. Photo: IOM / Wolfe Murray

Cabo Delgado and Nampula are the most affected provinces

  • First case: 23 March 2020

  • Total cases: 1,907 (as of 1 August 2020)

  • Total deaths: 12

  • Schools: Closed (7.9 million learners affected).

  • Borders/Flights: Entry for non-nationals and non-residents is restricted.

  • Containment measures: State of Emergency since 1 April, restricting movements and closing schools and non-essential services; 14-day quarantine for all travellers; use of face masks mandatory in public areas; temporary suspension of issuance of official documents, including visas.

Situation:

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Mozambique had reached 1,900 as of 1 August, including 12 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health. More than 146 health workers have also been infected, according to WHO. The provinces of Nampula and Cabo Delgado continue to report the highest number of infections.   President Filipe Nyusi extended the State of Health Emergency for another 30 days starting on 30 June but has announced a relaxation of some restrictions to allow for the function of some sectors of the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to media reports. In maintaining the level three measures, the authorities will reportedly coordinate a phased-out approach for the reopening of several sectors including education, business, culture and tourism, in strict compliance with the preventive measures and protocols defined by health authorities. The Government announced on 7 July the reopening of schools, closed since March, on 27 July, but only for the 12th grade of secondary education (pre-university), and for teacher training colleges. However, this was postponed as the the Ministry reported that only 170 public secondary schools (out of a total of 667) and 19 out of 27 teacher training colleges had met the strict health guidelines for reopening. Only places of worship that meet the conditions specified by the Government may resume their activities, including setting up of handwashing facilities and wearing of masks by congregants. International commercial flights remain suspended and all arrivals to Mozambique, regardless of citizenship, will have to follow a mandated 14-day self-quarantine. The Government is collaborating with Cuba to bring 60 doctors to reinforce the COVID-19 operations. Meanwhile, the pandemic has reportedly impacted the country’s economy. According to media reports, 6,115 workers in the tourism industry have reportedly lost their jobs and 1,443 establishments closed their doors since the beginning of the State of Emergency on 1 April. An additional 21,000 people have had their contracts suspended and are on collective leave with no compensation, according to National Union of Hotel, Tourism and Similar Industry Workers, quoted by the media. The COVID-19 blockade at the border with South Africa has been lifted, allowing thousands of Mozambican miners to cross the border and return to work, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Response:

  • The Government has increased the budget allocation for health, from about approximately US$29.8 million (MT 2 billion or about 0.2 per cent of GDP) to about $49.2 million (MT 3.3 billion or 0.3 per cent of GDP).

  • The Government has requested $700 million from partners to help deal with the impact of the pandemic.

  • The authorities are planning interventions in water supply and sanitation in all schools deemed not to meet the required hygiene conditions for re-opening, budgeted at 3.5 billion Meticais (about US$50 million) to be financed by the state budget and international partners.

  • The UN and humanitarian partners launched a Flash Appeal aimed at providing urgent life-saving and life-supporting assistance to 2.96 million people until December 2020. Out of $68 million appeal, $16 million are destined for the health sector, and $52 million for non-health sectors, especially food security and livelihoods, and water, sanitation and hygiene. (Read more information on the response in the situation report. )

Official sources:

Mozambique Government COVID-19 webpage and Ministry of Health Official Twitter

WHO Mozambique Official Twitter

Other links:

U.S. Embassy in Mozambique, COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Educational Disruption and Response, by UNESCO

COVID-19 World Travel Restrictions, by the Emergency Division of the World Food Programme (WFP)

Global COVID-19 Airport Status, by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Policy Responses to COVID-19, by IMF

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