Buy Our Writers A Coffee

Subscription Amount. Min £2

Workers prepare face shields from recycled plastics at the Zaidi Recyclers workshop as a measure to stop the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania May 21, 2020. Photo REUTERS/Stringer

 

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The World Health Organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Sunday the organization has yet to receive any information from Tanzania on what measures it is taking to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This situation remains very concerning. I renew my call for Tanzania to start reporting COVID-19 cases and share data,” Tedros said in a statement on WHO’s website.

Tedros said that in late January he had joined Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Africa head, in urging Tanzania to scale public health measures against COVID-19 and prepare to distribute vaccines. “I also encouraged the sharing of data in light of reports of COVID-19 cases among travellers,” he said.

Tanzanian authorities were not immediately available for comment.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has a reputation as one of the national leaders most sceptical of efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, a senior politician died of COVID-19, his party said, adding to concern about a hidden epidemic running rampant in a country that insists it has no local transmission of the disease and says it has no plans to receive vaccines.

On Friday, during a funeral service for a senior aide, Magufuli urged Tanzanians to remove fear, take precautions and put God first. He also announced three days of national prayer, according to a statement by the presidency.

The government stopped reporting data on new coronavirus infections and deaths in May last year when it had registered 509 cases and 21 fatalities.

WHO’s Tedros said in his statement that he has spoken with several authorities in Tanzania since January but “WHO is yet to receive any information regarding what measures Tanzania is taking to respond to the pandemic.”

He called on the country to implement “public health measures that we know work in breaking the chains of transmission, and to prepare for vaccination.”

And he said Tanzanian travellers testing positive for COVID-19 abroad underscored “the need for Tanzania to take robust action both to safeguard their own people and protect populations in these countries and beyond.”

On Monday, Oman’s health minister said his country was considering suspending flights from Tanzania, after 18% of travellers arriving from Tanzania tested positive for COVID-19.

Thailand reported on Monday its first case of the highly contagious COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa, in a Thai man who arrived from Tanzania. - Reuters

Kenya Airways Cargo's coldroom to be used for the storage of vaccines at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, on Feb. 11. Photo Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images

 

Kenya expects to get its first Covid-19 vaccines by the end of this month and inoculate 16 million of its roughly 53 million people by June next year, according to Health Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. 

The country will procure vaccines made by AstraZeneca Plc, Pfizer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, and any others in the Covax facility, an initiative for developing countries to access doses, Kagwe said Friday in a statement. East Africa’s biggest economy targets 24 million doses from Covax and will buy another 11 million shots from other mechanisms.

The first vaccination phase covering 1.25 million people will prioritize health, security and immigration workers.

Kenya will decide by the of next week whether to approve vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and AstraZeneca, and a Russian version known as Sputnik V, Fred Siyoi, head of the country’s drug regulatory authority, said by phone. - David Herbling, Bloomberg

Tanzania's re-elected President John Pombe Magufuli holds a spear and shield from the elders after he was sworn-in for the second term at the Jamhuri stadium in Dodoma, Tanzania November 5, 2020. Tanzania State House Press/Handout via REUTERS

 

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The United States said on Wednesday that Tanzania, whose president has advised citizens to shun coronavirus vaccines, is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases and its healthcare facilities could be quickly overwhelmed.

In a statement, the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam said it was “aware of a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases since January”.

“The practice of COVID-19 mitigation and prevention measures remains limited ... healthcare facilities in Tanzania can become quickly overwhelmed in a healthcare crisis.”

Tanzanian leader John Magufuli has said citizens should avoid vaccines and the country does not need a lockdown because God will protect his people.

Homespun precautions such as steam inhalation, he said, were better than dangerous foreign vaccines.

The east African country stopped publishing coronavirus data in April last year.

The U.S. embassy did not give figures for the surge in infections but said “limited hospital capacity throughout Tanzania could result in life-threatening delays for emergency medical care”.

Magufuli has also rubbished imported COVID-19 testing kits, saying they had returned positive results on a goat and a pawpaw fruit. He has promoted traditional remedies, without offering data or scientific evidence. - Reuters Writing by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Giles Elgood

About IEA Media Ltd

Informer East Africa is a UK based diaspora Newspaper. It is a unique platform connecting East Africans at home and abroad through news dissemination. It is a forum to learn together, grow together and get entertained at the same time.

To advertise events or products, get in touch by info [at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447957636854.
If you have an issue or a story, get in touch with the editor through editor[at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447886544135.

We also accept donations from our supporters. Please click on "donate". Your donations will go along way in supporting the newspaper.

Get in touch

Our Offices

London, UK
+44 7886 544135
editor (@) informereastafrica.com
Slough, UK
+44 7957 636854
info (@) informereastafrica.com

Latest News

Use your powers, save Kenyans from tax burden, Wandayi tells MPs

Use your powers, sav...

National Assembly Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi. Image: FILE Are we that powerless to be sent by th...

Ex-Kenyan PM, Odinga, Arrives Nigeria For Annual LEADERSHIP Conference

Ex-Kenyan PM, Odinga...

Former Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Amolo Odinga, has just arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International...

Rights claimants, broadcasters headed for court confrontation

Rights claimants, br...

 The fight over the English Premier League broadcast rights is raging. PHOTO/INTERNET What you need...

Pension fund bets on data audit to quicken payouts to retirees

Pension fund bets on...

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is for the first time set to undertake a massive audit of...

For Advertisement

Big Reach

Informer East Africa is one platform for all people. It is a platform where you find so many professionals under one umbrella serving the African communities together.

Very Flexible

We exist to inform you, hear from you and connect you with what is happening around you. We do this professionally and timely as we endeavour to capture all that you should never miss. Informer East Africa is simply news for right now and the future.

Quality News

We only bring to you news that is verified, checked and follows strict journalistic guidelines and standards. We believe in 1. Objective coverage, 2. Impartiality and 3. Fair play.

Banner & Video Ads

A banner & video advertisement from our sponsors will show up every once in a while. It keeps us and our writers coffee replenished.