TANZANIANS woke up to the most possible devastating news yesterday after the country registered its first COVID-19 death.
Just a day after revealing the rising number of coronavirus cases from 14 to 19, the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Ms Ummy Mwalimu broke the saddest of news since the Covid-19 outbreak.
The minister confirmed that a 49-year old male Tanzanian national, succumbed to the coronavirus in the early hours yesterday while undergoing treatment at Mloganzila Isolation Centre in Dar es Salaam. According to the minister, the deceased had pre-existing medical conditions.
Ms Mwalimu conveyed government condolence to the deceased family members and relatives, praying for the deceased soul to rest in eternal peace.
There was no increase in the number of Covid-19 cases as the minister issued the status of the novel virus yesterday.
"As of today, we have con a total of 19 Covid-19 cases whereby out of the number, one has died and one has been treated and discharged from hospital," she said.
As a preventive measure, the government was due to preside over the burial ceremony yesterday afternoon, with a very few family members in attendance, the bereaved family said.
"As the family, we will not hold any funeral in order to avoid further spread of the disease," the family said in a short note to the public.
Tanzania becomes the second country in East Africa to report death from the Coronavirus after Kenya, which registered its first death last Thursday.
Ms Mwalimu urged the public to keenly observe precautionary measures to curb further spreading of the deadly virus.
The minister said it was important that people report at the nearest medical centre if they develop any symptoms of the respiratory disease.
In an effort to prevent the outbreak, the government has taken a number of drastic measures, including suspending social gatherings, concerts and ordered the closure of schools and colleges.
It has directed the installation of hand-washing facilities at the entrance of all offices, hospitals, bus stops and shops.
Globally, more than 3 9,0 0 0 people have died from COVID-19, as the illness is officially known, while over 8 0 0 ,0 0 0 infections have been confirmed in at least 178 countries and territories.
The three countries with the highest infections are: the United States with nearly 16 5 ,0 0 0 , Italy with nearly 10 2 ,0 0 0 and Spain with just under 88 ,0 0 0 .
Italy retains the highest death toll (11, 5 91,), followed by Spain 7,7 16 ) and China (3 ,3 0 9), as of yesterday afternoon.