Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, is in danger of running out of intensive care beds for Covid-19 patients, a top health official has warned.
Ussrne Isse, who heads medical care in the health ministry, said private hospitals in Maputo already had no beds left to care for Covid-19 patients.
The isolation ward at the public sector Polana-Caniço Health Centre was already 90% full, he told state broadcaster Radio Mozambique.
An extra 200 beds could be added to Polana-Caniço and the Maputo Military Hospital, he said.
But if matters continued to worsen, doctors might be left with the unenviable task of deciding who should get treatment, he said.
The top priority was to practise preventive measures against Covid-19 – such as regular hand washing, social distancing and wearing masks, he added.
But it seems many have abandoned such practices as reports from various markets in Maputo by STV television have shown – and a lot of the wash basins installed in markets last year have also fallen into disuse.
Meanwhile, the mayor of the port city of Beira, Daviz Simango, from the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), has ordered an end to all informal selling of goods on the streets in a bid to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
From next Monday, all vendors must move from the roadside into official market spaces, where it will be easier for the municipal authorities to monitor them, he said.
Since the New Year, the number of Covid-19 cases has risen alarmingly.
Currently 135 Covid-19 patients are in hospital – but they are very unevenly distributed among the provinces, with 86% of them in Maputo.