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‘Technological changes behind the increase of Covid-19 testing costs in Tanzania’, says Health Minister

Friday January 08 2021
COVID PIC

Health minister Dr Dorothy Gwajima flanked by her deputy Dr Mollel speaking to journalists on Monday, February 1

By Herieth Makwetta

Dar es Salaam. The Ministry of Health, Gender, Community Development and Children has clarified the decision behind the hike of Covid-19 tests by almost 400 per cent

According to the ministry the rise of new Covid-19 variant across the world and technological changes in testing has forced the cost of testing for the disease to rise from Sh40,000 to Sh230, 000.

The Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dorothy Gwajima stated this in a Covid-19 testing guideline for people traveling abroad that she issued on Wednesday.

"Tanzania is one of the countries that has taken strong measures to control Covid-19 infections and in particular due to the increase in the number of new cases reported daily in the world and the emergence of new strains of the virus) in some countries," explained Dr. Gwajima.

She said in line with that, rising entry costs for arriving visitors, technological changes in testing where some countries have called for increased tests.

"Some countries have requested an increase in IgM Antibody testing in conjunction with PCR and an increase in demand for sampling facilities, which has led to improvements to the manual version of the first edition of July 20, 2020," added Gwajima told Mwananchi when asked to elaborate further on the issue.

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 He said in view of the situation, the ministry has prepared a guideline for testing -the second edition on for travelers traveling abroad and visitors entering to Tanzania including tourists.

Gwajima said the guide sets out the procedure for applications, testing, how to take the results, border checks and testing costs for travelers, ie all people who travel abroad from Tanzania including drivers transporting goods and passengers to foreign countries and visitors leaving.

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