Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi announced yesterday a mandatory night curfew, from 21:00 to 04:00, in the metropolitan area of Maputo, to face the rising number of cases and deaths by Covid-19 in the country.
“This curfew should not be understood as a total confinement or ‘lockdown’, because it is a movement restriction that only covers the night period”, in which there have been violations of health recommendations, justified Nyusi.
The geographical limitation of the measure takes into account that the metropolitan region of Maputo concentrates the majority of cases, deaths and hospitalisations due to Covid-19. Additionally, the curfew will also cover the adjacent districts of Matola, Boane and Marracuene.
The restriction is part of a set of 20 measures announced by the President in a communication to the nation which will take effect from 00:00 on February 05, for a period of 30 days.
All shops will have to operate between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm from Monday to Saturday and until 4:00 pm on Sunday – restaurants must close by 8:00 pm every day.
Places of worship, religious celebrations, conferences and meetings will close, private social events are prohibited and the resumption of face-to-face classes is postponed at all levels of education.
In sports, Moçambola (the country’s football league) is suspended after the 4th round (which is played next weekend) and recreational and amateur games are prohibited.
Measures are also required to prevent agglomerations in public service places, with responsibility from the heads of services, if they occur.
The use of a visor does not dispense the use of a mask, which is already mandatory in public spaces.
“It is time to fight for our collective survival,” said Filipe Nyusi.
The head of state called for compliance with the measures and to counter the fear that the current context may cause, saying that this “is not the time” for divisions, but for “looking for solutions”.
The Mozambican President revealed that the country is mobilizing resources to purchase more vaccines, in addition to those already provided for through the Covax mechanism, of which Mozambique is part.
President Nyusi said that vaccination will start with “health personnel and those at risk of contagion”. The head of state promised to reinforce inpatient beds, more personal protective equipment for health professionals and rapid tests in urgent cases of greater volume, for faster referral of cases.
In January alone, Mozambique recorded more cases, more hospitalisations and more deaths from Covid-19 than in the whole of 2020, according to official data from the Ministry of Health.