Mozambique has ended the state of emergency it put in place on 1 April to tackle to Covid-19 pandemic, with all eyes now on President Filipe Nyusi to elaborate on the next steps.
The news coincided with reports that Islamist militants killed at least nine people in the coastal districts of Mocimboa da Praia and Macomia in gas-rich Cabo Delgado, the heart of the insurgency and of the country's burgeoning liquefied natural gas industry.
According to Mozambique’s constitution, the president cannot extend the state of emergency beyond 120 days and, reported the Mozambique News Agency (AIM), no measures to replace it have been decreed.
The state of emergency — which was not a total lockdown as enacted in neighbouring South Africa — initially ran to 30 April and was extended by three additional 30-day periods, before ending on 29 July, with each extension ratified by Mozambique’s parliament.
Nyusi was due to address parliament on Thursday about the results of the state of emergency, after which he said decisions will be taken about strategies and measures to be adopted in the days ahead and he would address the nation.
He appealed to Mozambicans to abide by the measures legally enforced in the state of emergency to tackle Covid-19, even though they are voluntary.
Nyusi said that together with his advisors, a dialogue was under way on how the economy could be opened up in a gradual and safe manner.
“There are no short-cuts. Yes, we shall go ahead, but prudently, while there are no vaccines or medicines available for Covid-19”.
Mozambique’s Ministry of Health has reported more than 1808 cases of Covid-19 to date, with 616 of these having recovered an 11 died.
The LNG complex in Afungi, Cabo Delgado was once an epicentre for new cases of Covid-19, although few have been reported recently as workers return to the camp.
In Cabo Delgado, meanwhile, attacks took place on 28 July at a flour mill in Mocimboa da Praia district and a day later at Tandacua in Macomia district.
Voice of America reported that eight people were beheaded in Tandacua.