Tanzania: epidemiological situation requires additional COVID-19 measures in public sector and prisons
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health of Tanzania, Prof. Abel Makubi, announced on July 25, 2021, a ban on all festivals, concerts, and non-essential public gatherings in the wake of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Two days prior to the announcement of the new COVID-19 measures, on July 23, 2021, the Ministry of Health of Tanzania reported 176 new COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths in the country, aggravated by a growing number of critical patients in the hospitals and shortages of oxygen supply; the hardest-hit regions include Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Arusha, Mwanza, and Kagera.
The Permanent Secretary Abel Makubi emphasized the importance of the new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus and urged the population to adhere to the guidelines set by the government of Tanzania. In cases when social gatherings cannot be postponed to a later date, both the participants and the organizers are asked to strictly follow the preventive measures, such as meeting in an open-air space with a limited number of guests and social distancing. The organizers are obliged to check the bodily temperatures of the participants with an infrared thermometer, install hand-washing stations, provide clean running water, soap, and sanitizers. The Permanent Secretary Abel Makubi warned that such gatherings would undergo inspections by the Defense and Security Committees to ensure adherence to the guidelines.
Furthermore, the government of Tanzania is set to implement additional preventive measures in prisons and police stations. All incoming convicts would undergo COVID-19 tests to prevent the spread of the virus in prisons. Qualified suspects would be released on bail to reduce overcrowding in detention and prison centers. In addition, police stations across Tanzania had been instructed to install hand-washing stations and make wearing medical facial masks indoors mandatory.
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