President Filipe Nyusi announced on Sunday, June 28, that Mozambique's state of emergency in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been extended by 30 days until July 30. Level three lockdown measures will remain in place during the extended state of emergency, with residents urged to stay home, except for essential reasons, and the use of face masks being mandatory on public and private communal transport and at gatherings. However, Nyusi announced that some restrictions will begin to be eased in the coming days, including the reopening of schools. Lockdown measures on key economic sectors such as tourism, culture, and business services will also be eased, allowing some businesses, resorts, and restaurants to reopen. However, social distancing and hygiene measures must be adhered to and more stringent restrictions may be reintroduced in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks.
In order to support international business and tourism, the suspension of international flights to and from Mozambique has also been lifted, allowing business travellers, tourists, and essential personnel to enter the country from a number of designated 'safe' countries. However, Nyusi did not specify which countries would see the resumption of commercial flights and it is unclear what quarantine or testing requirements will be in place for international arrivals. LAM Mozambique Airlines continues to operate domestic flights and international airfreight operations.
As of June 29, 859 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Mozambique, with five associated fatalities. 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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