Covid-19: Kagera records first case,Arusha second as total rises to 13

27Mar 2020
Polycarp Machira
Dodoma
The Guardian
Covid-19: Kagera records first case,Arusha second as total rises to 13

​​​​​​​KAGERA Region has recorded its first case of coronavirus and Arusha the second one as the total confirmed cases increased slightly from 12 late last week to 13 as of yesterday.

Figures released yesterday by the Health ministry in Dodoma said Dar es Salaam region has eight cases, Zanzibar two cases, Arusha two cases and Kagera one case.

This is the first time the novel virus has been confirmed in the Lake Zone Region as previous cases were in the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Zanzibar.

However, on a positive note, Minister Ummy Mwalimu told reporters that Tanzania’s first patient based in Arusha who was diagnosed with the disease on March 16 is now free of the virus and was about to be released from quarantine.

Out of the 13 confirmed cases, eight are Tanzanians while five are foreigners and all of them arrived in the country on diverse dates from Covid-19-affected countries except one.

“After taking the three tests that proved negative, we are now sure that the lady is free of corona virus and the process to allow her get back home is underway,” she said, calling on the public to treat her just like any other person not having the virus.

About 1,890,532 people had been screened in some 27 centres, including border points, airports and ports since the start of the year. Minister Ummy noted that about 3,471 travelers had been screened in the past 24 hours to early morning yesterday.

The ministry has continued with testing people who came near the travelers, with a total of 273 samples, 243 from the Mainland and 30 from Zanzibar taken to the Government Laboratory Agency as of yesterday. Out of these 260 tested negative.

In an effort to contain the situation, the minister said that from Monday this week all passengers from countries badly hit by the disease have to undergo 14 days mandatory isolation at special hotels and areas designated by the government.

Since then, a total of 111 passengers have been isolated at different places, with regional authorities directed to set aside places for isolation in each region.

 Zanzibar Health minister Hamad Rashid Mohamed as the same event that Tanzanians need to take precautions to avoid the spread of the disease.

He said there are many people coming into the country and thus failure to adhere to government directives would land people in danger. There are close to 6000 people that enter the country through Pemba ports alone, of whom around 2500 enter the country each week through Wete, he stated.

Since the Kenyan government closed the country’s borders recently, about 1500 people have entered Micheweni, with the Isles authorities placing 134 people under quarantine.

“We do isolate people because the virus takes at least 14 days to show signs of infection but unfortunately some people think the government is out to torture them,” he said, appealing to those undergoing isolation to understand that the government is doing everything possible to protect people.

There was a case of a person who entered the country who tested negative at the time of entry only to turn positive within the 14 days of quarantine, he pointed out.

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