Moz-SA borders closed, flights suspended special task team set up

Foreign airlines are suspending flights to Mozambique because of the Corona virus pandemic with Qatar Airways having flown its last trip to the country on March 19.

  • South African border posts of Pafuri (Gaza province) Giriyondo (Gaza province) and Kosibay (Ponta do Ouro. Maputo province) are closed.  The Lebombo border (known as Ressano Garcia on the Mozambique side)remains open, 
  • Border posts with Lesotho, eSwatini, Mozambique,Zimbabwe Botswana and Namibia are affected.

South Africa is partially closing its borders as part of efforts to halt the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind Covid-19. Two third of border posts on land, and two out of eight sea ports, will no longer allow the transit of people.

Meanwhile, the South African government had vowed to take harsh action after a cruise ship left South Africa for Mozambique this week. The MSC Orchestra left the port of Durban on Monday with 2,800 passengers and 900 crew aboard for  Pomene in Mozambique, a day after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced security measures to quell the spread of the Corona virus, including the closure of some sea ports. Many of the passengers aboard the MSC Orchestra are South Africans

“The measures announced by the President of the Republic, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, to deal with the emergence of the Corona virus in Mozambique, are manifestly insignificant given the scale of the threat in the region and put Mozambican families at risk,” reads a communique issued by the Mozambican NGO Centre of Public Integrity (CIP).

President Nyusi had meanwhile addressed the nation, announcing new COVID-19 prevention measures due to take effect as from Monday, March 23, for the next 30 days. Mozambique would subject all travelers, Mozambicans or foreigners, entering the country to a mandatory 14-day home quarantine. The mandatory home quarantine was previously applied only to citizens, Mozambicans or foreigners,arriving from certain designated countries, but it now applies to any traveler entering the country.

President Philippe Nyusi

The President also announced that the country will close all private and public schools, suspend visa issuance and revoke previously granted visas and ban public or private gatherings of more than 50 people except those of national interest , such as parliament sessions.

A technical-scientific commission to advise the Government in making decisions about the pandemic is in the process of being established.

 

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