COVID-19 Crisis in Tanzania has serious implications for Uganda and wider East Africa region.
The US Embassy in Tanzania has released a damning indictment to the Tanzanian government’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic by warning that the government is unable to cope with the spread of the disease, and that it is potentially hiding information.
In a warning to US citizens in the country, the Embassy warns that the threat of contracting COVID-19 in Dar es Salaam is ‘extremely high’ an d that ‘hospitals are overwhelmed by patient numbers.’
The embassy has also slammed President John Pombe Magufuli’s government for its refusal to release data on COVID-19 spread for two weeks, contrary to WHO obligations that require regular release of information on any pandemic.
Because of the Tanzanian COVID-19 situation, the US has issued the highest Global Level 4 Health Advisory for its nationals, which requires them to stay home except for essential activities like grocery shopping.
The warning by the American embassy is the latest in a series of international warnings including from WHO, the African Centres for Disease control condemning President Magufuli’s mishandling of the pandemic.
The news is further confirmation of fears as reported by Ugandan health experts, that Tanzania is now experiencing COMMUNITY Spread of the Coronavirus. This means that the disease is endemic in the community and that the government cannot afford to track, trace and treat patients.
Huge implications for region
The situation in Tanzania is likely to adversely impact the region including Uganda by restricting movement of persons and goods and burdening the healthcare systems in the system.
This is evidenced by the increase in the number of Ugandan truck drivers in recent days who have contracted the disease.