Maputo — The deputy general director of Mozambique’s National Health Institute (INS), Eduardo Samo Gudo, on Tuesday said the government’s decision to keep in force all the restrictive measures imposed to halt the spread of the Covid-19 respiratory disease was the prudent course to take.
The measures, confirmed by President Filipe Nyusi on Monday night, include a ban on religious services, political gatherings, and most forms of private gatherings. Bars remain closed and there are restrictions on the times at which alcohol can be sold in other establishments. Also closed are casinos, night clubs, and gymasiums. A curfew, running from 22.00 to 04.00, has been imposed in the Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area, and all other provincial capitals.
Interviewed by Radio Mozambique, Samo Gudo said that now was not the time to relax the Covid-19 prevention measures, given that many countries are entering a third wave of the pandemic.
He said the epidemiological situation in Greater Maputo is tending to stabilize, and he attributed this to the restrictive measures the government had taken.
But that was no reason for citizens to let down their guard, he added, warning that a third wave could be more severe than the second wave, which had hit Mozambique in January. That wave had been worse than the first wave, in terms of the number of cases and of deaths.
“There’s no doubt that the world has entered a third wave”, said Samo Gudo. “It’s in Europe and America, and in Africa several countries, including Kenya, are facing a third wave”. Some of these countries, he added, were facing a new wave of the pandemic, because they had relaxed their restrictive measures too early.
The purpose of Mozambique’s restrictive measures, he added, was precisely to avoid the early appearance of a third wave, which could be more devastating than the preceding waves.
“The risk of reopening the economy when the second wave is still under way, is that we will find ourselves in a third wave, more severe than the previous ones”, he stressed.