Dr Dorothy Gwajima, the minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children issued the directive in Dar es Salaam yesterday at a press conference, urging members of the public to support the fight.
She however urged those holding essential gatherings to take precautions to avoid the spread of the disease, noting that unnecessary gatherings that are henceforth banned are entertainment events such as music performances, discos or large groups watching football.
Dr Gwajima said that there are some reckless leaders who have remained mum despite a surge in cases of the disease in their areas.
“Failing to adhere to precautionary measures has continued to contribute to the increase in the number of hospitalised patients. As of July 21 (Wednesday this week) in healthcare facilities across the country there were 682 patients suffering from Covid -19,” she stated.
She said by yesterday 176 new patients of the disease were reported to have been hospitalized in various facilities, “so we need to wake up all of us and fight this disease without affecting our daily economic activities.”
The fight against Covid-19 should not be left to the government, she stated, underlining that this is an area which needs coordinated efforts to contain the spread of infections.
“Public officers should fulfill their obligations in this war,” she emphasised, pointing out that the government will not tolerate leaders who will be found thwarting efforts to fight the disease by not fulfilling their duties. This includes promoting and educating people on preventive measures in various communities countrywide.
She also cautioned on excessive packing of passengers in commuter buses saying that public officials ought to control this situation so as to enhance the protection of passengers while on transit, urging the public not to ignore the Covid-19 preventive measures meant to curb infections.
“Despite the surge in Covid-19 cases, the majority of the people are yet to take the disease seriously by not taking precautions including wearing face masks and washing hands. This has been contributed to by reckless leaders who do not take action to ensure that the public knows well the danger of the disease. And this should be done without raising fear or panic,” she said.
The government is today expected to release a schedule on how Tanzanians will access the first phase of Covid-19 jabs as it rolls out a mass vaccination campaign.
“We will start with priority groups including elders and frontline workers. We expect to reach a minimum of 60 percent of Tanzanians in a sequence of phases in the campaign,” the minister stated.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan has cautioned that Covid-19 is an ever present health challenge, so people must take precautions as recommended by experts.
Last month, when addressing members of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) in Dar es Salaam, President Samia said that the disease was widespread and must be fought.
“In my recent tour of Mwananyamala Regional Referral Hospital (in Dar es Salaam), I went to one of the wards and the doctor there told me that the patients had difficulties in breathing,” she had stated, indicating that the doctor was avoiding to use the c-word, coronavirus.