Tanzania confirms first coronavirus case in Arusha

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An arriving foreign passenger is screened for the coronavirus upon arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) in north Tanzania February 28, 2020. Tanzania confirmed its first case of the virus on March 16, 2020. PHOTO | FILBERT RWEYEMAMU | AFP

Dar es Salaam,

The Tanzanian Ministry of Health announced the country’s first case of the deadly coronavirus on Monday.

The patient, a 46-year-old woman, returned from Belgium on March 15 aboard a RwandAir plane, which landed at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said the woman left the country on March 3 and visited Sweden and Germany before travelling to Belgium and then returning to her home country.

“Upon her arrival at the KIA, her body temperature was normal. The thermal scanner was thus not able to show signs that she needed further testing,” she said.

DOUBTS

Doubtful about her health, however, the woman put herself in self isolation.

“From what she told me on phone, while in Belgium she lived in a house whose owner had suffered from the coronavirus,” Ms Mwalimu said.

“She later went to Mount Meru Hospital. Her samples were received at around 1am and the National Health Laboratory confirmed that she has Covid-19.”

The ministry urged the public to remain calm amid measures to prevent spread of the virus.

“The case is an imported one and the authorities are doing all that is possible to contain the situation,” Ms Mwalimu said.

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