Dar es Salaam. Deputy Minister of health Dr Faustine Ndugulile has today said that the Covid-19 is not a sexually transmitted disease urging the general public to observe social distance and hygiene.
He further reiterated that Tanzania is still far from lockdown, health, saying even the 17 Covid-19 patients that are under quarantine were in very stable conditions.
“As you are aware we have so far registered 20 cases, two have healed and reintegrated with their families, whereas one passed away on March 31. The good news is that of all the remaining patients none of them is in a critical condition,” said Dr Ndugulile.
Dr Ndugulile who was speaking to The Citizen in a special interview saying the measures they have taken at the ministry so far is enough to fight the outbreak and other measures will follow depending on the outbreak.
“When you look at the dynamics, most Tanzanians live from hand to mouth- they have to leave their households in order to survive. So when you go for a total lockdown it means some will instead die of hunger,” said the deputy minister.
He said among other measures they started with, was to strengthen the preparedness to deal with the outbreak and now they are at the response level.
“Our preparedness and response has always been key in tackling such outbreaks, for example during the Ebola outbreak despite the fact that we are neighbours with countries that have been affected Tanzania was never hit by the deadly disease,” he said.
Dr Ndugulile ruled out the possibility of conducting mass testing saying they only take samples from patients who have shown symptoms of the infection.
“When we take patients into quarantine we monitor them and it is not until they show signs of developing the disease and that is when we take samples.”
Ndugulile’s interview comes on a day when the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the coronavirus pandemic as humanity's worst crisis since World War II.
The virus has so far claimed more than 30,000 lives in Europe alone.
Italy and Spain have borne the brunt of the crisis, accounting for three in every four deaths in Europe as the grim tally hit another milestone even though half of the planet's population is already under some form of lockdown in a battle to halt contagion.
Spain reported a record 864 deaths in 24 hours, pushing the country's number of fatalities past 9,000.
The toll is only dwarfed by Italy's, where the virus has killed nearly 12,500 people.
Since emerging in China in December 2019, Covid-19 has spread across the globe, claiming over 43,000 lives and infecting more than 860,000 people, according to an AFP tally.
President Donald Trump has warned of a "very, very painful two weeks" as the United States registered its deadliest 24 hours of what he called a "plague".
In a scramble to halt the contagion, governments have shut schools, most shops, and ordered millions of people to work from home.
Cancellations of key events on the global calendar have swept both the sports and cultural worlds, with the Edinburgh arts festival the latest to be scrapped.