Tanzania’s first coronavirus patient has recovered and will be discharged from hospital soon, Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu has announced.
“I am happy to announce our first patient for Covid-19 has tested negative in all three tests taken…we are now on final stages for her discharge,” Ms Mwalimu said on Thursday.
The patient, 46-year-old woman, tested positive after returning from Belgium on March 15 aboard a RwandAir plane.
She was screened on arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) in the northern town of Arusha but did not exhibit coronavirus symptoms until later when she fell ill while in her hotel room, Ms Mwalimu said while confirming the first case on March 16.
The country has confirmed another case, bringing the total to 13.
“The total number of patients with Covid-19 reached 13 cases, for which two are in Zanzibar and eleven are in Tanzania mainland,” Ms Mwalimu said on Thursday.
Some 273 people have been tested—30 in Zanzibar and 243 in mainland Tanzania—with only the 13 testing positive, the minister said.
The patients are receiving treatment in Arusha (two), Dar es Salaam (eight), Zanzibar (two) and one in Kagera, northwestern Tanzania.
One of the victims is popular Bongo Flava artist Khamis Mwinjuma, popularly known as Mwana Fa.
Ms Mwalimu urged Tanzanians to take precautions and follow procedures laid down by authorities to prevent the spread of the virus. Those who develop symptoms have been advised to report to medical centres.
The government has suspended all social gatherings and ordered closure of schools and tertiary institutions.