Left Menu
Development News Edition

Coronavirus: Covid-19 now in Tanzania, Somalia as East Africa starts closures

PTI | Daressalaam | Updated: 17-03-2020 11:37 IST | Created: 17-03-2020 11:33 IST
Coronavirus: Covid-19 now in Tanzania, Somalia as East Africa starts closures
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Tanzania and Somalia on Monday became the latest East Africa countries to confirm their first cases of coronavirus, as neighboring countries shuttered borders and schools as fears of contagion rose. As the global pandemic takes root in Africa, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma announced he was donating 20,000 testing kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 protective suits to each of the continent's 54 countries.

"We take precautions and get prepared ahead of time, as Africa can benefit from the experience and lessons of other countries that were earlier hit hard by the virus," he said in a statement on Twitter. In a little over a week, 21 new African countries have reported cases, bringing the total affected to 30.

In West Africa, Liberia and Benin also recorded their first cases Monday. A 46-year-old Tanzanian woman tested positive for the illness after returning from Belgium on March 15, where she had been staying with relative sick with coronavirus.

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said the woman, who was recovering in hospital in Arusha, was not detected by temperature scanners but reported herself for testing. "All in all, this is an imported case, and the woman is improving and continues with treatment," she said.

Somalia, meanwhile, also confirmed its first case of coronavirus and announced a ban on international flights in and out of the country, starting from Wednesday. The government had quarantined four Somalis as a precaution after they arrived from the country's with coronavirus outbreaks, and one had subsequently tested positive.

"None of the quarantined individuals had shown symptoms so far, and look healthy, but the virus is present in the body of this individual," health minister Fowzia Abikar Nur said in a televised address. The travel ban will extend to cargo flights but exclude humanitarian ones, transport minister Mohamed Abdulahi Omar said.

The announcements from Tanzania and Somalia came as Rwanda confirmed two more cases of the virus, bringing its total to 7. Rwanda has shut schools and churches for two weeks and banned concerts and large gatherings. Its national airline RwandAir has canceled flights to India, Israel and China, however, insists tourists are still welcome.

In an additional measure taken Monday, the government announced it had fixed food prices to avoid hikes. Ethiopia introduced its own raft of fresh restrictions Monday, closing schools and suspending large gatherings like sporting events. The country, the most populous in the region with 100 million people, has five confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Mauritius, meanwhile, a smattering of islands in the Indian Ocean dependent on tourism, announced it would deny entry to anyone who had visited the EU, Switzerland or UK in the past 14 days. Previously, the restriction only applied to those who had visited China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

It has not recorded any positive cases so far. "Our country is a tourist destination. Thousands of foreigners come to and transit through Mauritius. We are very exposed," said Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.

There are now 19 confirmed cases across six countries in East Africa. Kenya, which has three cases, on Sunday announced strict measures including blocking entry to foreigners who do not have a valid resident permit and are coming from a country with a confirmed case.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Videos

Latest News

CBO projects virus impact could trim GDP by USD 15.7 trillion

The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that the US economy could be USD 15.7 trillion smaller over the next decade than it otherwise would have been due to the adverse effects of the coronavirus on economic growth if Congress does not ...

Trump declares he's president of law, order amid protests

Amid racial unrest across the nation, President Donald Trump on Monday declared himself the president of law and order and threatened to deploy the United States military to American cities to quell a rise of violent protests. As Trump spok...

Frequent testing, less contact recommended to get Hollywood cameras rolling again

Hollywood studios and labor unions on Monday proposed extensive coronavirus testing and other safeguards to allow actors and crew members to resume movie and TV show production in the United States. An entertainment industry task force sent...

Brazil registers 11,598 additional cases of coronavirus, 623 new deaths on Monday

Brazil registered 11,598 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 623 additional deaths in the last 24 hours, the nations Health Ministry said on Monday evening.Brazil now has registered 526,447 confirmed cases and 29,937 deaths att...

Give Feedback