Tanzania COVID-19 Situation Invokes a Health Alert from the US Embassy to its Citizens

John Magufuli

The US embassy in Tanzania has been alarmed by the manner on which Tanzania has been reporting COVID-19 cases to the public. According to the embassy, Magufuli’s government has not released any data on COVID in Tanzania since April 29, so there is no current data on the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Tanzania.

Following this realisation, the Department of the State was forced to issue a health alert on May 13, 2020 saying that the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Dar es Salaam, a major city and commercial port, is extremely high.

“Despite limited official reports, all evidence points to the exponential growth of the epidemic in Dar and other locations in Tanzania. The Embassy has strongly recommended that U.S. government personnel and their families remain at home except for essential activities (e.g., grocery shopping) and substantially limit into private homes the entry of anyone but regular residents,” read a statement.

The embassy highlighted that many hospitals in Dar es Salaam have been overwhelmed in recent weeks and the limited hospital capacity throughout Tanzania could result in life-threatening delays for medical care, including for those with COVID-19. Since Tanzania government suspended all international passenger planes on April 11 and international commercial flight it will be difficult for those the foreigners to exist in the country.

The embassy has taken necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus and has alerted them on what to expect in this period.

“U.S. citizens who remain in Tanzania should be prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging additional repatriation flights in Tanzania at this time. However, in the event that opportunity becomes available, we are asking you to let us know if you are interested in being contacted,” read a part of the statement.