Tanzania registers first coronavirus death

Tuesday March 31 2020

Tanzania's Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu. PHOTO

Tanzania's Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu. PHOTO | THE CITIZEN | NMG  

BEATRICE MATERU
By BEATRICE MATERU
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Tanzania has registered its first coronavirus-related death, the health ministry announced on Tuesday.

In a statement, Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said the patient was a 49-year-old Tanzanian man who had an underlying health condition.

A family spokesperson said that the patient will be buried later Tuesday in presence of close family members.

"Due to circumstance and cause of his death, the government will conduct the burial today afternoon and only few people will attend. As family we will not hold any funeral to avoid further spread of the disease," said the spokesperson.

On Monday, Tanzania recorded five new Covid-19 cases, bringing the national tally to 19.

“As of Monday, March 30, the total number of patients with Covid-19 reached 19 cases, for which two more are in Zanzibar and the rest are in Tanzania mainland,” Ms Mwalimu told journalists.

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One person has recovered—the first patient to contract the virus—according to Ms Mwalimu.

Ms Mwalimu urged Tanzanians to take precautions to prevent spread of infections, and to report at any medical centre if they develop any symptoms of the respiratory illness.

The government has suspended social gatherings, concerts and ordered the closure of schools and colleges.

It has also installed hand-washing facilities at the entrance of all offices, hospitals, bus stops and shops.

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