Blinken Call with Mozambican President Nyusi and the Struggles of the People With COVID-19

CITY OF WASHINGTON (July 14, 2021)— Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi.  The Secretary and President reaffirmed the strength and importance of U.S.-Mozambique relations and our joint commitment to countering ISIS.  The Secretary underscored U.S. support for Mozambique’s efforts against COVID-19, building on our long-standing investments in the country’s health sector.  The Secretary expressed a desire for further collaboration on economic development and governance.

Secretary Blinken’s statement maybe too late for the citizens of Mozambique—to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

As of July 13th, Mozambique has had 91,886 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,013 deaths. A total of 74,211 individuals have recovered from the disease. But vaccines are difficult to obtain without long travels.

On September 7, 2020 Mozambique transitioned from a State of Emergency (SOE) to a State of Public Calamity (SOPC). The SOPC will continue indefinitely at the red alert level while the risk of spreading COVID-19 exists in Mozambique.

On June 24, 2021 President Nyusi extended the mitigation measures to combat COVID-19, with some adjusted regulations.

Current measures include:

  • In the Greater Maputo area and all provincial capitals there is a curfew in place from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. every night.  The curfew also applies in Manhiça, Chokwe, Maxixe, Gondola, Moatize, Mocuba, Nacala, Montepuez, Massinga and Guruè.
  • Public services and isuance of documents by publiuc institutions is now done through pre-booking;
  • In public and private institutionswhere it is not possible to ensure proper physical distancing, teleworking by 30% of the workforce is encouraged;
  • Commercial establishments will be open from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Saturday, and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday. Restaurants may remain open until 9 p.m. every day.
  • Business and work visas are now authorized.
  • Religious services, conferences, celebrations and meetings are limited 40% of the capacity of the venues, and may never exceed 40 people for indoor venues and 80 people for outdoor venues.
  • In exceptional and duly substantiated cases and with authorization from the Ministry of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs, conferences and meetings may have up to 150 participants;
  • Private social events are prohibited throughout the country, except for wedding registrations which may have 20 attendees maximum.
  • Government events must not exceed 150 participants.
  • Additional safety measures are to be immediately implemented in all public establishments.
  • Public and private sector establishments will be held responsible for non-compliance with safety measures.
  • The use of a clear plastic face shield does not replace the use of a facemask.
  • Restaurants, take-aways and home delivery services close at 8 p.m;
  • Recreational and leisure sports and games are prohibited.
  • The opration of theaters, cultural centers and auditoriums is prohibited;
  • Large gyms may open to 40% of capacity; small gyms are not authorized to operate.
  • Hotel swimming pools may open for the use of hotel guests only.
  • The sale of alcoholic beverages by bottle stores, greengrocers or supermarkets is allowed between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. from Monday to Saturday; no alcohol sales are permitted on Sundays or holidays. The sale of alcoholic beverages from stalls is prohibited.
  • Visiting beaches for leisure purposes is prohibited. Alcohol is not permitted on the beach.
  • Shopping centers are open from 9 a.m to 6 p.m from Monday to Saturday and from 9 a.m to 3 p.m on Sundays and holidays
  • Public swimming pools may open to 30% capacity.
  • The validity of expired documents is extended until June 30, 2021.

These measures are in addition to the prior measures already in place, some of which include:

  • All incoming travelers must present a negative test for COVID-19.
  • All persons displaying respiratory symptoms or fever must stay home.
  • Discos, bars and stalls selling alcoholic beverages will remain closed.
  • Teleworking is recommended, in particular for people at higher risk.

Source: US Department of State and U.S. Embassy in Mozambique

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