The Tanzanian government has said it is reviewing its guidelines on controlling the spread of Covid-19 following a third wave of the disease.
This comes a few days before primary and secondary schools are scheduled to reopen countrywide, amid official data showing that at least 100 Tanzanians have tested positive of Covid-19 since the third wave of the diseases began.
It also comes at a time when education stakeholders have been advising that boarding schools should put in place a mechanism to prevent the spread of the virus, including checking students’ temperatures when they report back to school.
Speaking at Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL) on Tuesday, chief government spokesman Gerson Msigwa said the Health ministry in collaboration with the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) and the Education ministry are working on the matter and would soon give a way forward.
“They will come to tell us how the trend is and that could be followed by the government’s statement about Covid-19 vaccination,” said Mr Msigwa, who doubles as director of Information Services.
When questioned about the health measures being taken as schools prepare to reopen, Dr Grace Maghembe, the deputy permanent secretary responsible for health in the President’s Office (Tamisemi), said they are reviewing guidelines released in May last year.
She said all directives would be enshrined in the guidelines which, students, parents, guardians and teachers will have to follow.
Leonard Mao, the chairman of the Federation of Owners of Private Schools and Colleges in Tanzania (Tamongsco), said it is the responsibility of every to follow government guidelines to protect students.
“We have the previous guideline and as we await a new one, the coronavirus has already hit the country. So, we must take control measures as early as possible,” he said.
The government’s guidelines released on May 27, 2020 advised on the environment of an education institution before its opening, student health examination, transport to and from school/college and learning environs.
Mr Msigwa further said that the Covid-19 vaccine is important as it will enable social, business and economic interactions between Tanzanians and people from other nations.
He urged residents to observe health directives to protect themselves from the disease and help stop its spread.
The government also urged Tanzanians to put on face masks while in public, avoid unnecessary gatherings and keep a distance of at least one metre.