Tanzania COVID-19: Health Ministry confirms first case of coronavirus
third East African nation to report COVID-19 presence
Less than a week after member states of the East African Community cleared the air over the presence of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in the region, Tanzania becomes the latest East African nation to report the first case today on Monday.
Tanzania’s first case of coronavirus is a 46-year-old Tanzanian woman who traveled from Belgium and entered the country on Sunday, March 15, via Kilimanjaro International Airport in northern Tanzania.
This case makes Tanzania the third East African nation to report COVID-19 presence in its land after Kenya and Rwanda which reported two cases less than a week ago.
Tanzania’s Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said the patient didn’t show any symptoms when she arrived at the northern Tanzania airport. However, before leaving the arrival passenger room, she complained of feeling unwell and that’s when she went to a hospital.
Mwalimu said the patient is being closely monitored at a hospital in Arusha city in northern Tanzania. She said she spoke to the patient who sounded as though she was stable.
The minister said health officials were now attempting to trace all individuals who came into contact with her. The 46-year-old Tanzanian woman had tested positive for the illness.
Mwalimu said the COVID-19 victim had been staying with a coronavirus patient in Belgium.
The woman is now improving in a Tanzanian hospital, while health authorities work to trace all the patient’s contacts since she arrived in Tanzania, the Minister said.
She was the first to test positive of the deadly virus on Sunday, March 15, as she arrived in Tanzania aboard Rwandair from Belgium. The traveler left Tanzania for Belgium on March 3. She visited Sweden and Denmark before her return to East Africa.
East African states remained a safe destination for international tourists despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier reports from government and health sources from the East African regional bloc could not indicate any case of positive coronavirus virus (COVID-19) until the first and recent cases which were reported late last week in Rwanda and Kenya.
The African Tourism Board (ATB) stands by Tanzania during this pandemic. ATB is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from, and within the African region.