Tanzania coronavirus cases rise to 19

Monday March 30 2020

Tanzania's Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu.

Tanzania's Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu. PHOTO | MWANANCHI | NMG 

EMMANUEL ONYANGO
By EMMANUEL ONYANGO
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Tanzania has reported five new cases of coronavirus on Monday, raising the total number of confirmed infections to 19.

Three of infected people are from Tanzania mainland, while the two others are from the semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago, Health minister Ummy Mwalimu said.

“Efforts to trace those who were in contact with the patients are ongoing,” the minister said.

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.

It has, however, 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.

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

- Additional reporting by Bob Karashani