Tanzania has scaled up Covid-19 preventive measures in its transport sector.
In what can be described as a step in the right direction, Dar Rapid Transit Agency, in a statement on Monday, announced strict protocols as part of efforts to combat the spread of Coronavirus in the country’s Rapid Bus Transit (BRT) system that operates in Dar es Salaam.
In a list of measures announced by the agency, passengers are required to wash hands at BRT centres before boarding any bus.
Wearing of face masks and social distancing in the buses is now mandatory.
“Wait for another bus if the one you intended to board is full, ” the agency told BRT users.
The agency said it developed the guidelines after consultation with the Ministry of Health.
The guidelines were issued a day after the World Health Organization urged authorities in Tanzania to implement the public health measures to help curb the spread of the virus in the country.
While criticizing Tanzania’s unconventional approach in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the situation in the country remains very concerning.
Dr Tedors noted that Tanzanians travelling to neighbouring countries and beyond have tested positive for Covid-19, despite the government’s previous stand that Tanzania was free of the virus.
“This underscores the need for Tanzania to take robust action both to safeguard their own people and protect populations in these countries and beyond, ” he said.
“Covid-19 is a serious disease that can cause severe illness and even death. National authorities everywhere must do all they can to protect people and save lives and WHO stands ready to support them in the response against this deadly virus.”
The WHO chief made the remarks after the death of two high-ranking government officials who are said to have succumbed to Covid-19 including Zanzibar First Vice President Seif Sharif Hamad.
DR Tedros statement forced President John Pombe Magufuli to changed tune on the existence of Covid-19 in Tanzania.
Speaking during a church service in Dar es Salaam on Sunday, the head of state encouraged Tanzananis to wear locally made face masks.