By Goodluck Musinguzi
Dr. Dorothy Gwajima, Minister of Health in Tanzania has finally confirmed that Covid19 is a public health concern after she denied its presence when the late President John Magufuli was still President.
Addressing the media in Dar es Salaam, she said 719 people have died since they started testing, 25,846 people are confirmed with Covid19.
Dr. Dorothy Gwajima asked Tanzanians to follow prevention measures that are going to be introduced in the country. Each week we shall be availing Covid19 data according to World Health Organization.
But increasingly, the country has come under pressure to publish data on the spread of coronavirus as part of conditional approval of a $574 million emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
But speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Dr Gwajima said Covid-19 data is now available as per WHO requirements.
She said the statistics will be availed online and on the WHO website instead of through press conferences.
“It is not possible to conduct a press conference every day to brief reporters. Through the WHO website, we update the statistics weekly for everyone to access.”
She further urged the public to get vaccinated to avoid suffering from severe forms of the disease or death.
As of October 2, a total of 595,938 vaccine doses had been administered to Tanzanians. The government is expecting to receive 489,042 doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China.
Dr Gwajima confirmed that the vaccines would arrive in the country on Friday. She said that another consignment of 576,558 doses is expected this month from the Covax facility.
Tanzania launched mass vaccinations in late July after receiving slightly over a million doses of Johnson and Johnson jabs donated by the US. President Samia Suluhu kicked off the exercise by publicly receiving her first jab, signalling a turnaround for a country that only months before was in denial about the pandemic.