Tanzania Needs to Scale Up Public Health Measures Against COVID - WHO

According to the WHO, Tanzania needs to start implementing public health measures and also prepare for vaccination against COVID-19 since cases and deaths are being reported
President Yoweri Museveni attending President John Pombe Magufuli's presidential inauguration last year

The World Health Organisation - WHO has reteriated it's call for Tanzania to scale up its COVID-19 public health measures.

The call comes after a senior Tanzanian leader and the government's chief of secretary are believed to succumbed to the disease this week. 

Tanzania last reported COVID-19 data in June 2020. At the time the country had 509 cases and 21 deaths. A month before Tanzania stopped reporting on COVID-19 cases, their President John Magufuli made regional and international headlines when he said that tests carried out on a paw, sheep, goat and vehicle oil had tested positive for the disease.

Later on, national prayers were held where President Magufuli declared the country COVID-19 free during a church service in Dodoma  saying, "The corona disease has been eliminated thanks to God."

Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organisation Director General says that as Africa gets ready to roll out vaccination against the virus, Tanzania needs to open up.

"A number of Tanzanians traveling 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.This situation remains very concerning. I renew my 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," said Dr Ghebreyesus.

As of July 2020, 378 truck drivers from Tanzania entering Uganda  had tested positive for COVID-19 according to the ministry of health records.

As many countries around the world were implementing lockdowns to forestall the spread of COVID-19, in Tanzania it was business as usual. In neighboring Kenya and Uganda, school were closed. Those in Tanzania were not.

Reports from Tanzania show that recommended public health measures such the wearing of facial masks are not being followed.

According to the UN health agency, they have engaged several Tanzanian authorities to prepare for vaccination against COVID-19 but have not gotten any response or vaccination plan.