Tanzania Could Soon Be Dealing With Local Transmission of COVID-19, Warns Health Minister

Dar es Salaam — Tanzania's Health Minister, Ummy Mwalimu, has warned that the fight against Covid 19 has taken a new shape as the country begins to tackle internal transmission after initially struggling with imported infections.

The minister in her briefing called upon the public to increase awareness and take necessary precautions.

The minister made the statement today, April 9, 2020 while opening a seminar for religious leaders organized by the non-governmental organization-World Vision aiming at educating the religious leaders on their responsibility in the community in the fight against Covid-19.

She said so far there are 25 confirmed cases in the country, as she waited for an update later today.

"The disease has been brought in from outside, but, yesterday and last week, we have begun to find infections within the country. Within a few days it will go into community transmission. That means we will get a patient who does not know where the disease has come from," she said.

She explained that the stage of transmission in the community may be complicated to know who the infected person is and warning that Tanzania may get to this stage.

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"I must tell you the truth if we'll not take necessary measures, soon, we will get into community transmission. We need to take precautions and intensify efforts to combat the disease," she said.

The minister said it was the duty of every religious leader to ensure they conduct worship in a systematic and risk-free environment to protect themselves against corona virus as well as limiting religious conferences which are not important at this time.

"I commend the efforts made by Coast Regional commissioner, for preventing a religious conference organized by religious organizations and involving 3,000 people from all over the country," said Ummy.

She used the opportunity to call on religious leaders to continue worshiping in a safe environment.

"You should also conduct short worship services as well as establish a mechanism to reduce congestion of believers when entering and leaving places worship," said Ummy.

Country director-World Vision Tanzania Gilbert Kamanga said the organization is in solidarity with the government in the fight against corona virus.

He called on religious leaders to deliver accurate messages about Covid-19 (Corona Virus) saying they are among the most trusted people in the community as well as following the government's directives on the disease.

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