Maputo — The Mozambican Health Ministry on Tuesday warned all companies and institutions to take preparations to deal with possible cases of the respiratory disease Covid-19 among their work force.

Given the steady increase in the number of cases, particularly in Maputo, all institutions should set up an isolation room, where anyone suspected of carrying the disease can be held, so as not to contaminate others.

A Ministry of Health press release urged companies and institutions to set up a “Covid-19 Management Institutional Commission” (CIGCOVID-19), which should include people trained in how to handle the disease,

“It will be this commission that manages the occurrence of suspected and confirmed cases and keeps in contact with the health authorities”, it added.

The Ministry announced that, since the start of the pandemic, 136,683 people have been tested for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, 1,277 of them in the previous 24 hours. 958 of these tests took place in public facilities, and 319 in private laboratories.

Of all the samples tested, 548 were from Maputo city, 179 from Sofala, 173 from Zambezia, 71 from Maputo province, 69 from Gaza, 44 from Tete, 28 from Inhambane, 15 from Nampula, four from Niassa and one from Manica.

1,009 of the samples were negative, and 268 tested positive for the coronavirus. This brings the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 up to 8,556 since the first case was diagnosed on 22 March.

Of the new cases, 265 are Mozambicans, one is a Zimbabwean, one an Italian, and one an Indian. 135 are men or boys, and 133 are women or girls. 28 are children under 15 years of age. Eight are over 65 years old and no age information was available for nine cases.

The overwhelming majority of the cases – 199 – are from Maputo city and 31 are from Maputo province. Thus Maputo city and province accounted for 86 per cent of all the new cases. There were also 31 cases from Zambezia, four from Inhambane, two from Tete and one from Nampula.