The US embassy in Dar es Salaam has raised alarm over the status of the Covid-19 pandemic in Tanzania even as the government continues to conceal information on the number of infections and fatalities.
The embassy asked American citizens in Tanzania to stay at home, saying that the situation in the country is dire and hospitals have been overwhelmed.
"The risk of contracting COVID-19 in Dar es Salaam is extremely high. Despite limited official reports, all evidence points to exponential growth of the epidemic in Dar and other locations in Tanzania,” the embassy noted.
“The Embassy has strongly recommended that U.S. government personnel and their families remain at home except for essential activities (e.g., grocery shopping) and substantially limit into private homes the entry of anyone but regular residents."
President John Magufuli’s administration is yet to make public any data on Covid-19 since April 29th and the country is said to have reported hundreds of Covid-19 related deaths in the past three weeks.
"Many hospitals in Dar es Salaam have been overwhelmed in recent weeks. Limited hospital capacity throughout Tanzania could result in life-threatening delays for medical care, including for those with COVID-19," the US embassy added in its health alert dated Wednesday, May 13th.
Magufuli’s administration has come under heavy criticism from regional leaders, opposition, and civil rights groups over its casual handling of the global pandemic.
“U.S. citizens who remain in Tanzania should be prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging additional repatriation flights in Tanzania at this time. However, in the event that opportunity becomes available, we are asking you to let us know if you are interested in being contacted,” the embassy noted.