Tanzania: Tighter COVID-19 Vigilance

THE Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children yesterday issued an updated travel advisory to accommodate trucks and vehicles carrying goods and services as part of measures to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

According to the improved travel advisory number two of April 4, this year, the updated measures follow directives of the joint meeting of the ministers responsible for Health and East African Affairs of the regional bloc issued on March 25 this year on the novel virus preparedness and response.

Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Ms Ummy Mwalimu, said that following the directives, the government reviewed and updated the travel advisory to accommodate free movement of goods and services.

Ms Mwalimu said trucks and vehicles carrying goods and services are required to have only two to three crew members per vehicle to facilitate smooth border crossing in the region and will be decontaminated if crew members will be suspected to have COVID -19.

She said crew members are supposed to declare their final destination at the points of entry and allowed only to stop at government designated locations.

They will also be subjected to enhanced screening at the points of entry and may be quarantined or isolated at designated facilities in case they are suspected of COVID- 19 infections.

"In case crews are quarantined/ isolated while in transit, truck owners or operators must make necessary arrangements to backup their crew to ensure that goods are delivered to the intended destination," Ms Mwalimu said.

Ms Mwalimu further said that crew for cargo planes and other vessels will be quarantined at designated hotels or within their vessels for the period of their stay.

"Airline operators should maintain two sets of crew to work in rotation in order to minimize the chances of being subjected to mandatory quarantine," she said.

She advised individuals residing in Tanzania to postpone all non-essential travel to other countries due to regional and global impact of COVID-19 until further notice.

According to the advisory, all travellers whether foreigners or returning residents entering the country, will be subjected to mandatory isolation for 14 days at their own cost at designated facilities identified by the government.

The minister further said that all travellers will be subjected to intensive screening, including rapid testing for COVID -19 if deemed necessary.

On March 23, the government instituted additional travel measures to limit the spread of coronavirus after the country registered its first confirmed case of the viral disease on March 16 this year.

According to the COVID -19 update, Tanzania has confirmed 20 cases of the viral disease, three recovered and one death.

The minister said that the sixteen patients in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Zanzibar; were all progressing well," she said.

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