On Tuesday, May 12, Mozambique's Civil Aviation Authority extended the current suspension of all international flights until Sunday, May 31, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). National Carrier LAM Mozambique Airlines continues to operate domestic flights and cargo flights are still permitted. Only Mozambican citizens or foreign residents can return to the country and will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. The issuance of all official documents, including visas and travel documents, has been suspended since March 23. Residence permits (DIRE) and temporary visas will be granted automatic suspensions until Tuesday, June 30. All borders are closed, except for the Ressano-Garcia post with South Africa in Komatipoort but for cargo only.
President Felipe Nyusi has also extended the state of emergency until Saturday, May 30, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state of emergency was earlier declared on Monday, March 30, along with a stage 3 level of emergency (second highest level). Authorities have urged residents to stay home, except for essential reasons. The use of face masks is mandatory on public and private communal transport and at gatherings. Schools remain closed; cultural, recreational, and sports activities in public spaces remain prohibited. Entertainment establishments, including museums, theaters, libraries, bars, and gyms, are shut as a precautionary measure. Beaches are closed for leisure activities except for fishing. Authorities have also suspended religious services and celebrations at all places of worship. Markets will operate from 06:00 to 1700 (local time), subject to the approval of health authorities. Individuals who do not comply with the measures may be punished under criminal law.
As of Tuesday, May 12, there are 104 cases of COVID-19 in Mozambique. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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