‘Seek modest hotels for Covid-19 quarantines’

25Mar 2020
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
‘Seek modest hotels for Covid-19 quarantines’

Regional commissioners and regional administrative secretaries have been directed to identify affordable hotels for isolation of arrivals after a complaint emerged that those designated are too expensive.

Ummy Mwalimu

A group of arrivals recorded and posted a video clip on social media, with one of them reading an appeal to the government to designate other isolation facilities, saying those listed cost between USD55 (over 120,000/-) and USD100 (over 220,000) per night.

“These hotels are too expensive; honorable President, honorable Prime Minister and honorable Minister Ummy (Mwalimu). We can’t afford to pay these rates,” said a woman in Kiswahili as others nodded.

Speaking from what appeared to be a hotel lobby, the woman called on authorities to act quickly and designate new facilities, saying the four based in Dar es Salaam were not pocket friendly to them.

“As you can see, we have been brought here and left alone without further assistance,” she said.

The clip which went viral on various social media platforms caught the attention of the minister who reacted with a directive to RCs and RASs to swing to action.

 “We have received this challenge with regard to places designated for 14-day mandatory isolation for all arrivals from countries affected by Covid-19. I direct RCs and RASs in all regions to identify affordable facilities,” the minister posted on twitter, tagging the same video clip.

President John Magufuli announced a mandatory 14-day isolation for all arrivals from Covid-19 affected countries last Sunday which came to effect on Monday for both foreigners and Tanzanians.

The containment measure followed the doubling of cases from six to 12 at the weekend announced by the Head of State.

Eleven of the confirmed positive cases had arrived in the country from affected countries except one person, the first local transmission case registered.

Other containment measures taken include strengthening of the national Covid-19 response committee to be under the Prime Minister’s Office.

The president stressed that there was still no fatality in the country and   current patients were fairing well including the first patient in Arusha whose multiple tests came out negative.

He also cancelled travel permits for government officials to countries affected by Covid-19, and sought for the private sector to also avoid non essential travels.

After the first case was confirmed on Sunday 15th March, the closure of kindergarten, primary, secondary schools, colleges and universities for 30 days was proclaimed as authorities put in place containment measures.

Entertainment activities including music bonanzas and sports were also suspended. 

Non essential travels and flights have been cancelled whereas social gatherings have been discouraged to stop the virus from spreading further.

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