KAMPALA/DAR ES SALAAM — Ugandan journalist Andrew Mwenda has claimed that COVID19 crisis in Tanzania is now at critical after confirmed cases reportedly escalated to 16,467.
“A well placed source in Dar es Salam claims they have 16,467 cases tested positive, 1,293 dead and only 118 recoveries! 40 people are dying of covid19 daily,” Mr. Mwenda wrote on Twitter, Zambia closed its joint border with neighboring Tanzania after experiencing the highest spike of coronavirus infections last week, local media reported.
“No traffic will be allowed in or out of the district,” the Tanzania-based The Citizen daily quoted Zambia’s Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya as saying, referring to the closure of Nakonde border.
The minister, however, did not specify the duration of the border shut down.
Meanwhile, World Health Organization (WHO) has chided Tanzania for its ongoing lack of cooperation and transparency in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
After days of silence, officials released its latest update on the number of COVID-19 infections on Wednesday last week.
Almost all African countries release daily reports, including their current number of infections, fatalities and recoveries.
In the last update ten days ago, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said the country of 56 million people had now recorded 480 cases of COVID-19 and 16 deaths.
The tally at the time represented a 69% jump in just five days.
Majaliwa offered no explanation for the government’s silence on coronavirus numbers, though he cautioned against the “tendency of some people to issue false statistics which leads to unnecessary unrest in society.”
Tanzania recorded its first coronavirus case on March 16.
President John Magufuli has been increasingly criticized at home and abroad for his response to the pandemic after the number of confirmed cases rose sharply within a month.