For Tanzania, it’s business as usual, yet

Saturday March 28 2020

Coronavirus

A security officer dispenses chlorinated water to a passenger at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, a few hours after the government announceD the first case of the covid-19 in the country on March 16, 2020. PHOTO | ERICKY BONIPHACE | AFP 

BOB KARASHANI
By BOB KARASHANI
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Tanzania has adopted a wait-and-see approach to the coronavirus pandemic, as neighbouring countries impose partial or near-total lockdowns and introduce stimulus measures to cushion their economies.

Church services and funerals are still permitted and public transport is running in what appears to be a government move to minimise chances of the Covid-19 pandemic grinding the country to a halt.

By Friday, the country had reported 13 cases of positive SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 disease countrywide, with one recovery and no deaths.

There has been no word from the government or Bank of Tanzania (BoT) on the much-anticipated special relief package for banks to enhance monetary stability.

The central bank had earlier hinted at an economic stimulus package for banks, and BoT governor Prof Florens Luoga met with members of the Tanzania Bankers Association in Dar es Salaam last week to discuss among other matters related to the pandemic.

A BoT source told The EastAfrican on Thursday that "the plan is still in the pipeline." Both the Central Bank of Kenya and the National Bank of Rwanda this week announced various measures to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic on their respective countries where confirmed cases have continued to rise daily.

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The government has ramped up its call for preventive measures such as general hygienic practices including the use of face masks, handwashing and use of sanitisers in public places and increased enforcement of social distancing, stay-at-home and work-from-home policies.

Zanzibar, where two cases of the virus have been confirmed, has banned all travel to and from the semi-autonomous archipelago starting this Saturday, in addition to earlier measures which included closures of all tourist hotels.

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