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Tanzania, Somalia Confirm First Case of COVID-19




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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Tanzanian and Somalia health authorities have confirmed the first cases of COVID-19, saying the patient was a female who arrived in the country from Belgium by RwandAir on Sunday.

The 46-year-old-woman arrived from Belgium after visiting Sweden and Denmark, health minister Ummy Mwalimu told a news conference in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

Mwalimu said the woman left Tanzania on March 3 and returned to the country on March 15.

The minister said the woman’s temperature showed normal after she was examined on arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport.

Mwalimu said the woman later felt sick while she was in her hotel in Arusha city and went to Arusha region’s Mount Meru Hospital.

The hospital took her sample to the National Laboratory in Dar es Salaam for further tests.

Mwalimu said the patient was responding well to treatment but she could not reveal where the patient has been admitted to.

The minister urged Tanzanians to take necessary precautions, including washing hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Others are covering nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow and avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

Earlier on Monday, Tanzanian President John Magufuli announced the suspension of Uhuru Torch race for 2020 over COVID-19 concerns.

Similarly, Somalia government on Monday announced the suspension of all international flights for 15 days starting on Wednesday over fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus as the country confirmed the first case.

Fawziya Nur, the Health Minister of Somalia said the patient, a Somali citizen who returned from one of the countries affected by COVID-19, had arrived in Somalia last week and tested positive for the deadly virus after being isolated for almost a week.

The minister said the victim was among the four suspected cases who had arrived in the country and being quarantined since last week.

Minutes after the confirmation of the first case of COVID-19, Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry of Somalia announced a two-week ban on international flights from March 18.

Humanitarian and emergency cases will be exceptional. (/NAN)


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