from ARIMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – AS part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Mozambique is tracking thousands of its nationals that returned from neighbouring South Africa last month.
More than 14 000 Mozambicans left South Africa in March after the latter’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of national disaster and announced a three-week lockdown, later to be extended by a fortnight.
This followed the outbreak of the virus.
Most of the Mozambicans travelled back to their home communities in the southern Gaza, Inhambane and Maputo, which are the main senders of migrant workers to South Africa.
It is speculated some of these migrants might have left their host country with the virus.
As such, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has activated its network of community health workers across the southern provinces to identify the returnees in their home communities and ensure they are reached with prevention and quarantine messages.
To date, more than 850 migrants and each of their family members have been called.
In total, IOM has enquired about the health of over 4 100 relatives.
Officials confirmed none of those screened by telephone had reported COVID-19 symptoms.
“This effort has a positive impact because we help to ensure the safety of migrants’ families,” Andre Chambal, IOM field supervisor in Inhambane, said.
“We are glad to support migrants and their families in preventing the spread of COVID-19,” he added.
Mozambique has confirmed 39 cases of COVID-19, but no death so far.
South Africa has 3,465 confirmed cases with 58 deaths.
– CAJ News