Mozambique responds to Covid-19 with tough restrictions and pumping money into the banking system

 

Mozambique confirmed on Sunday it’s first Covid-19 case after the Government announced tough new restrictions to stem the pandemic’s propagation in the country.

 

Fear of the impact in Tourism, Transport and other sectors of the economy has already lead the Bank of Mozambique (BdM) to put in place support measures, including pumping money into the financial system.

 

After a meeting on Sunday of its board of directors, Bank of Mozambique announced new measures to support companies and families that suffer from the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic on the economy, including the “introduction of foreign currency credit lines for banks and relaxation of the conditions for restructuring bank customer credits, to mitigate the effects” of the expected economic impact.

 

Beginning today, and for a period of nine months, BdM will “introduce a foreign currency line of credit for institutions participating in the Interbank Foreign Exchange Market, in the global amount of US $ 500 million”, according to a statement by BdM.

 

It also authorized “the non-constitution of additional provisions by credit institutions and financial companies in cases of renegotiation of the terms and conditions of the loans, before their maturity, for the clients affected by the pandemic”.

 

These measures, it adds, “reinforce the decisions previously taken and aim to provide liquidity in foreign currency and in national currency to support companies and families to honour their commitments, following the worsening of the risks arising from the macroeconomic impacts” of Covid-19”.

 

BdM says it “will continue to monitor the economic-financial indicators and macroeconomic impacts” of Covid-19, “and will take additional corrective measures whenever necessary”.

 

On Friday, Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, announced new measures to reinforce the prevention of COVID-19. As of today, Nyusi said, a technical-scientific commission, led by the Minister of Health, is in operation to advise the President on the preventive measures to be taken.

 

Other measures include to suspend the issuance of entry visas to Mozambique and cancel all visas already issued, and reinforce the 14-day quarantine measures for all travellers, regardless of origin.

 

The Government has also ordered the closure of all public and private schools at the elementary, primary, secondary and even higher levels, along with the suspension of all social events with more than 50 people.

 

Additional measures against the propagation of Covid-19 include the Imposing of mandatory implementation of preventive measures in all institutions and reinforce inspection measures to guarantee the supply of goods.

 

Mozambican think-tank Center for Public Integrity applauded the measures in a statement after the president´s address to the country. It also encouraged the Government “to mobilize and direct existing means and resources to impose a mandatory quarantine on all travellers, in a place controlled by health authorities, given the high risk of non-compliance with home quarantine measures”.

 

The national railways and ports company, CFM, has also imposed restrictions on transports. Starting today, according to a CFM statement received by CLBrief, all long-distance trains are cancelled. This includes those in the southern railway system (to Ressano Garcia, Goba and Chicualacuala) as well as the central (Moatize and Marromeu).

 

Urban trains, the statement adds, are now limited to 50 passengers per carriage. CFM says it will add carriages to accommodate passengers and, if necessary, also trains.

 

Photo of Bank of Mozambique | © Mozlife

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