In a televised address on Friday, President Filipe Nyusi announced a raft of measures aimed at protecting Mozambicans from the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic, which has seen more than 200 people infected in neighbouring South Africa.

The measures, which are effective from March 23, include the suspension of issuance of visas to foreigners and cancellation of those already issued as well as the closure of both public and private schools and suspension of public gatherings involving more than 50 people.

Others measures include the establishment of a technical commission chaired by the Minister of Health which would act as the focal institution dealing with issues to do with the coronavirus pandemic, as well as mandatory 14-day quarantine for Mozambicans arriving from other countries.

Nyusi revealed that no coronavirus cases have been recorded in the country so far and the latest measures are to ensure that the virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, does not find its way into Mozambique.

"There have already been 35 suspected cases that have tested and these came out negative, while 267 nationals and foreign citizens are quarantined at home,” Nyusi said.

He said the government was strengthening the screening of people who visit health facilities with symptoms of the disease.

CM/jn/APA