After months of what has been viewed by the world as a relaxed approach to the coronavirus pandemic, Tanzania has now reviewed its advisory on international travel to accommodate stringent measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus in the country.
In the latest advisory dated August 5, the government expressed concerns over the risk of imported cases.
Tanzanian authorities, however, maintained that the country continues to record a “decreasing trend of admitted Covid-19 cases” even after reopening of schools.
Some of the new measures announced yesterday that apply to international travelers whether foreigners or returning residents include mandatory “enhanced screening” for Covid-19 infection. The government said there will be no mandatory quarantine for the travelers.
Travelers whose countries or airlines require them to get tested for COVID-19 and turn negative, as a condition for traveling, will be required to present a certificate upon arrival as stipulated in the World Health Organization (WHO) Covid-19 guidelines.
The new changes show that contrary to the previous version, the new travel advisory has stated type of screening that suspected cases will be subjected to.
“Travelers from other countries with symptoms and signs related to COVID-19 infection, will undergo enhanced screening and may be tested for RT-PCR, ” the advisory signed by Prof Mabula Mchembe, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, reads in part.
Prof Mchembe stated that crew members shall not be required to present a negative test COVID-19 certificate as a condition of entry or departure. However, they will be screened for symptoms and signs in line with the country’s protocol.
The PS insisted that while in the country all international travelers will be required to observe Infection Prevention and Control measures such as hand hygiene, wearing masks and keeping physical distancing as deemed appropriate.
“All travelers are required to truthfully fill out Traveler’s Surveillance Form available onboard or in any other transport means and submit to Port Health Authorities upon arrival, ” the advisory reads.
Other measures include screening of truck drivers and fumigation of their vehicles.
The President John Pombe Magufuli-led government has declined to release data related to the virus. The last official communication was on April 29.
Then, the positive cases stood at 509 with 21 deaths.
About two months ago, Magufuli declared the country “Covid-19 free” and discouraged wearing of masks saying the disease had been contained.
The head of state said that prayers helped in the fight against coronavirus.
Last week Kenya blacklisted Tanzania as it reopened its airspace. Tanzania retaliated and banned national carrier Kenya Airways from operating in the country.