Tanzania’s Covid-19 situation remains ‘very concerning’, says WHO chief Tedros

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a media conference n Monday, April 20, 2020 in Geneva

Tanzania’s Covid-19 situation remains very concerning, WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus has said.

In a statement on February 20, Tedros also renewed his call for Tanzania to start reporting Covid-19 cases and share data.

“I also call on Tanzania to implement the public health measures that we know work in breaking the chains of transmission, and to prepare for vaccination,” Tedros said.

Tanzania last published Covid-19 data in May 2020 saying it has prayed the virus away.

Tedro was registering WHO’s condolences to Tanzanians following the deaths of a senior Tanzanian leader as well as the government’s Chief Secretary.

“In late January, I joined Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Director for the African Region, in urging Tanzania to scale public health measures against COVID-19 and to prepare for vaccination. I also encouraged the sharing of data in light of reports of COVID-19 cases among travellers. Since then I have spoken with several authorities in Tanzania but WHO is yet to receive any information regarding what measures Tanzania is taking to respond to the pandemic,” Tedros said.

He noted that a number of Tanzanians travelling to neighbouring countries and beyond have tested positive for Covid-19.

“This underscores the need for Tanzania to take robust action both to safeguard their own people and protect populations in these countries and beyond,” Tedros said.

“Covid-19 is a serious disease that can cause severe illness and even death. National authorities everywhere must do all they can to protect people and save lives and WHO stands ready to support them in the response against this deadly virus,” he added.

Tanzania remains in denial, with President Pombe Magufuli even warning against distribution of masks without approval because “they might be having corona”.

Last week on Thursday, hundreds of mourners from Tanzania’s semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar gathered to bid farewell to the deceased vice-president Seif Sharif Hamad who died from Covid-19 complications.

He is the most prominent Tanzanian leader to have openly declared that he had contracted Covid-19.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its latest travel warning on Tanzania says the country’s level of Covid-19 is “very high.” It gave no details but urged against all travel to the East African nation.

African Union raises concern over Tanzania’s lack of Covid-19 data

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