Tanzania bans public gatherings, shuts down schools over COVID-19 pandemic

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 14:53 |
A woman sanitizes her hands in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, March 16, 2020. (Xinhua)

Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Tuesday announced the shutting down of all nursery, primary and secondary schools following an outbreak of COVID-19 in the east African nation.

 In a statement televised live by state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, Majaliwa said the schools have been closed down for 30 days beginning Tuesday.

 The premier said national examinations for Form Six students that were scheduled to begin on May 4 will be rearranged by the relevant authorities.

 He also announced the suspension of all sports events and all forms of gatherings including political rallies for 30 days as the government in collaboration with its partners battled to contain the deadly disease.

On Monday, Tanzanian health authorities confirmed the first case of COVID-19, saying the patient was a Tanzanian female who arrived in the country from Belgium by RwandAir on Sunday.

The 46-year-old-woman arrived from Belgium after she had visited Sweden and Denmark, Ummy Mwalimu, the Minister of Health told a news conference in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Majaliwa said the patient has been quarantined at a special facility where she was being monitored closely.

He added that all people who were close to her and who served her on arrival have also been quarantined and their samples taken for tests.

Majaliwa said people entering into the country through ports and airports were being screened for the virus, adding that the country has set special designated health facilities in Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza and Zanzibar.  (Xinhua)

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