Information last updated: 29 April, 2020
- The Government issued a 30 days’ level 3 state of emergency starting from April 1st. On 29 April 2020, the state of emergency was extended until May 30th, 2020.
- The 1st Covid-19 positive case was detected on March 22nd, 2020 in Maputo.
- To date (April 29) from the 535 550 people screened and 1896 tested, the country has 76 positive cases, with 9 totally recovered and no fatalities. 11.643 people are in mandatory quarantine.
- All positive cases are being treated at their homes.
Response set up and capacity
The Country’s Covid-19 response is led by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The Government of Mozambique (GoM) has developed a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan for the Health Sector, of a $28 million dollars budget. This amount is included in the total $700 million USD requested by Mozambican authorities for the overall COVID-19 response. At the moment, development partners have pledged around US$ 46 million to support the Government actions.
The Ministry of Health started a sentinel surveillance across the country. Health authorities have identified health units representative of the provinces and, randomly, are taking samples from individuals with simple flu to be tested.
The bulk of testing is being done at the reference laboratory of the National Institute of Health. Although recently, 11 private laboratories were also allowed to perform Covid-19 testings. At the moment and given the transmission level, the testing is concentrated at the TOTAL (company leading the gas and oil development industry in the north of Mozambique and taking over the initial work done by ANADARKO) camps in Afungi, Cabo Delgado Province, the hub for 56 positive cases. TOTAL has been supporting the Government efforts by providing tests, transport and living expenses for the teams doing the massive testing in the company’s camp.
Entities / Organizations
• Ministry of health
• COVID-19 Health Coordination Group comprised several development actors such as WHO, UNICEF, USAID, WB, UNICEF, WFP and ILO.
• Private laboratories
• TOTAL gas company
Mitigating factors - What is being done?
- March 23: The Country took preliminary actions against Covid-19 –previous to the report of the first positive case– by closing educational institutions.
- March 30: After the detection of the first case, the Government issued the decree n. 11/2020 announcing measures such as social isolation, the closure of all international borders and a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all people coming from abroad. No food aid or other support was planned for the population.
- The GoM has established a toll-free number *660# for public information on COVID-19 as well as a Green Line for health workers. Messages on COVID-19 in Portuguese and local languages have been developed and are being shared by different channels, including with national and community radios, through mobile phone companies and social media.
- The Ministry of Health released its COVID-19 Response Plan, with a budget of approx. $28 million. The key-areas are focused on strengthening preparedness and social mobilization. The Government of Mozambique (GoM) has requested approx. US$ 700 million to face the health crisis and its socioeconomic consequence. Until now, development partners have pledged around US$ 46 million.
- The internal groups of the Development Coordination Platform are developing sectoral plans to support the GoM. WHO is the lead of the COVID-19 Health Coordination Group. The group has 12 members, UNICEF, USAID, WB, WHO and ProSaude comprise the management group. UNICEF, WFP and ILO are also actively contributing to the COVID-19 Social Protection Group.
- April 29: the state of emergency was extended until May 30th.
Risks, vulnerabilities, obstacles
The weakness of the public health sector in terms of human and financial resources has limited massive testing of suspected cases. In the view of the lockdown, South Africa expelled more than 7.000 Mozambique mining workers and many of them were not tested for Covid-19. Many more points for screening and testing are needed in all Mozambique Provinces.
In 2019, it was affected by cyclones Idai and Kenneth, which left nearly 2.2 million Mozambicans in need of humanitarian assistance. Many homes, schools, and crops were ravaged by the cyclones, rendering hundreds of thousands of Mozambicans displaced and at risk of losing their livelihoods.
Furthermore, concern about the potential spread of COVID-19 in Mozambique was elevated in late March, when according to Mozambique’s National Migration Service (SENAMI) over 14,000 Mozambican migrants returned from South Africa over the Ressano Garcia border within a span of a few days, as South Africa declared lockdown due to COVID-19, further heightening the risk to vulnerable population especially the internally displaced population.
Potential actions and demands
- In a fragile economy with a weak social protection system, where more than 80% of people work in the informal sector (mostly as street vendors), emergency systems cannot function at their best.
- Massive testing is being demanded, but the solution offered at the moment is limited to disinfection of transportation means.
- Some private companies, including supermarkets, are screening clients for temperatures, which is a form of support to the Government efforts.
- The UN in Mozambique is preparing a One UN Multisectoral Support Plan. The document represents the contribution of the UN to the existing and upcoming GoM’s response plans and covers areas considered as the most potentially impacted by the pandemic. It aims at responding to both the most acute and urgent needs over a three-month timeframe, and early recovery needs over a timeframe of six months.
- Ministry of Health through the Health National Institute https://ins.gov.mz/
- Daily updates Covid-19 https://africacdc.org/
- Mozambique Covid-19 Preparedness Assessment in the Resettlement sites https://migration.iom.int/reports/mozambique-%E2%80%93-covid-19-preparedness-assessment-resettlement-sites-april-2020
- United Nations Mozambique: COVID-19 Update Situation Report No. 1 https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/UN%20MOZ_COVID19_SitRep01_08042020.pdf
Contributor(s): Mogas Canhe.