Latest update on COVID-19 in Mozambique

As the global outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to progress, the health and safety of all Dutch citizens and their families in Mozambique are a top priority for the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Up to now there are no confirmed cases in Mozambique. However, the  situation is constantly evolving. Through its Facebook page and website the Embassy will keep Dutch citizens informed about new developments and the measures we recommend. Please, also check the travel advice, which is continuously updated.

As said before, no cases have been confirmed as yet. The common expectation is,  however, that this is a matter of time. And it is well known that the Mozambican health system is weak, which poses an extra risk for vulnerable people with serious health issues. It is every person’s own responsibility to decide to stay or to leave the country. We advise to take into consideration that more and more carriers cancel their flights. We strongly recommend Dutch citizens, currently travelling in Mozambique, to return to the Netherlands while it is still possible. In any case, we urge you to check the travel advice on a regular basis. And please, check whether your registration at the Information service of the Ministry is still up-to-date.
 
Though there is no reason for anxiety we advise Dutch residents in Mozambique to strictly apply the necessary precautionary measures described below. The measures are based on the information available from the WHO as per 17 March 2020.

Prevention and hygiene standards

Hand hygiene is an important factor in preventing the COVID-19 from spreading. Please remember to frequently wash your hands with warm water and soap, and, if those are not available, then use hand sanitizers.

It is recommended to avoid handshakes and kissing to greet colleagues and friends.

Cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue or your upper arm. Throw away used tissues immediately in a lined trash bin. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid sharing household items. Keep your surroundings clean. Clean “high-touch” surfaces that you share with others daily, such as counters, tabletops, door knobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that you sneeze or cough on), keypads or tablets with a standard household disinfectant. Wash your hands after cleaning the area. 

There is no need to use face masks at this stage.  

Work from home, unless ….

For those who have the opportunity, work from home as much as possible and avoid sharing offices with colleagues. For those who use public transport, arrange alternative means of transport whenever possible.

Meetings or other gatherings

It is advised to cancel non-essential meetings/gatherings.

Should you organize an meeting/gathering, please ask the attendants to confirm a maximum of 48/24hrs before the meeting that: (i) they do not have flu-like symptoms; (ii) they have not travelled, in the 2 weeks prior to the meeting, to the following countries (China, Iran, South Korea, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, USA, UK, The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Greece, but please, check the latest list); (iii) to their knowledge, they have not had any contact with anyone suspected of having, or confirmed to have, the COVID-19 virus. If these conditions are not met, it is strongly advised that the attendants do not attend.

It is also important to keep a list of all attendants.  

Business and personal travel abroad and in country

It is advised to limit international travels to essential travels only. Be aware that more and more air carriers cancel international flights. In this context, please also notice that the Mozambican authorities have introduced a decision of a 14-day self-quarantine for travelers coming from or who recently have been in the following countries: China, Iran, South Korea, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, USA, UK, the Netherlands and Sweden. This signifies that you would need to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine, including teleworking, at home, also if you have visited or transited through any of these countries. Please, also be reminded that should you choose to travel to these locations, your return to Mozambique may become more difficult and may lead to additional expenses. This list of countries which concerns quarantine regulations (currently thirteen) is evolving and is being updated on a regular basis by the Mozambican authorities.

For private non-essential trips in Mozambique, please, use common sense.

Check in any case the travel advice of the NL Embassy

Mozambique's preparedness for COVID-19

The Mozambican authorities have adopted an action plan to tackle COVID-19 (Plano de Preparação e Resposta ao surto do novo COVID-19), which the WHO overall considers as good for Mozambique's circumstances. Mozambique has introduced screening of passengers arriving at the international airports and has started to do the same at the Ressano Garcia border post with South Africa. The authorities have identified six isolation centres for the country; for Maputo this is the Mavalane hospital close to the airport. Mozambique has currently 2.500 testing kits for COVID-19 available, and the government is negotiating with partners on receiving more testing kits, protective and other medical equipment. 

In case of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the near future, persons who have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient need to contact the hospital. Please, stay at home and telework during the incubation period (14 days) or until further notice in order to avoid the risk of further contaminations.

In the case you or a family member gets sick

It is of utmost importance to know the procedures if you or a family member gets sick. The guidance we currently have from the Mozambican authorities is that we need to rely on the national health authorities if one has or suspects to have COVID-19. The contacts for the hospitals in Maputo are listed in the annex which should be used in case you suspect a COVID-19 case. Linha Grátis (see above) must also be contacted immediately if you or any member of your family suspect to have COVID-19 and further guidance will be provided. Contrary to previous information, the Ministry of Health confirmed that private clinics (incl. ICOR) will take COVID-19 patients.

Should you get sick, report the symptoms immediately to your doctor. DO NOT GO TO THE HOSPITAL, BUT CONTACT A DOCTOR BY PHONE.

Attachment:

Hygiene measures / What Does It Mean to Self-Quarantine

If you are asked to self-quarantine, you should stay home — in your room, your apartment, or your house. Do not go to work, events, restaurants, or other social gatherings until 14 days after the date of your departure from the country in question. Follow these guidelines for self-quarantine:

  • Report any symptoms of COVID-19 immediately to your doctor..
  • Limit contact with other people as much as possible. This includes isolating yourself as much as possible from anyone living in your residence, ideally, maintaining a distance of 2 meters.  Sleep in a separate bed from others.
  • Apply all the hygiene standards explained above.