Health ministry calls for calm as Tanzania confirms first coronavirus case

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu

Dar es Salaam. The health ministry has called for calm after Tanzania confirmed its first coronavirus case on Monday, 16 March 2020.

“The case is an imported case and that the authorities are doing all that is possible to contain the situation,” said Ms Ummy Mwalimu the Minister of Health.

Ms Ummy Mwalimu told journalists that a 46-year-old Tanzanian woman was the first to test positive of the deadly virus on Sunday, March 15.

She said the woman arrived in Tanzania abord Rwandair from Belgium.

She said the traveller left Tanzania for Belgium on March 3, 2020.

“Between March 3 and 13, she also visited Sweden and Denmark. She then went back to Belgium before returning to Tanzania on March 15 via Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA),” Ms Mwalimu said.

Upon her arrival at KIA, her body temperature was normal. The thermal scanner screening could thus not be able to show signs that she needed further testing.

She said despite showing no signs, the traveller was herself sceptical of her health.

“From what she told me on phone, while in Belgium, she lived in a house where the owner had suffered from coronavirus,” Ms Mwalimu said.

Unsure of her health, she (the traveller) decided to go into self isolation at a hotel.

“She later went to Mount Meru Hospital. Her samples were received at around 01:00am and the National Health Laboratory confirmed that she had Covid 19,” she said.