The authorities in Mozambique are doing their best to allow the return to the country of Chinese specialists so construction of Chongoene airport in the southern province of Gaza can resume, Rádio Moçambique reports, citing a provincial official, Alberto Matusse.

The Mozambican state-run radio station quotes Mr Matusse as saying the closure of the borders of Mozambique as a precaution against the Covid-19 pandemic was preventing the Chinese from returning.

China is paying the US$75 million cost of the airport, Rádio Moçambique says.

Separately, the Portuguese news agency, Lusa, quotes Mr Matusse as saying the airport buildings and perimeter fence are 60 percent complete.

The airport will cover about 9,000 square metres and have a runway 1,800 metres long, Lusa says.