On Monday, May 18, Tanzanian authorities lifted restrictions on international commercial flights and systematic quarantine measures imposed on passengers to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). International commercial flights have been suspended into and out of Tanzanian airports since Sunday, April 12, with only cargo flights exempt. Now all scheduled and unscheduled flights are free to arrive and depart. The mandatory 14-day quarantine period for those arriving into the country has been removed and only those who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be placed in quarantine, unless they have proof of a negative test.
Social distancing measures remain in place in Tanzania, including a ban on public gatherings, the closure of schools, and the suspension of sports competitions. The majority of bars, restaurants, and hotels have closed voluntarily, although many restaurants are offering takeaway services.
As of Wednesday, May 20, Tanzania has recorded 509 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 21 associated deaths.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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