THE government has ordered Regional Commissioners across the country to identify affordable isolation facilities for passengers arriving from COVID- 19 affected countries.
The order comes in response to concerns raised by a section of Tanzanians arriving back from abroad, who lamented over the high costs of the hotels, which have been selected for the mandatory quarantine.
A video clip that went viral on social media yesterday showed a woman who is at the reception of one of the hotels in Dar es Salaam, complaining that all the hotels that have been recommended by the authority for them to be quarantined were too expensive for them.
The woman asked the government to help them by taking them to cheaper places.
“We ask the government to help us, this place is expensive,” she said, noting that the cost of rooms at the hotel where they were placed ranged between US dollar 55 (about 126,000/-) and US dollar 105 (about 242,000) per day.
Responding to the concern, the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu called upon regional administrations to ad dress the issue.
“We have received the concern of those who are supposed to undergo the 14-day mandatory quarantine. I’m instructing regional commissioners and other leaders in all regions to identify places with affordable prices,” she said in her quick note that was shared on the ministry’s social media page.
Travellers landing in Tanzania must be quarantined for 14 days at their own expense, President John Magufuli announced on Sunday, as the government introduced new restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
The order overrode the previous call that required international travellers to isolate themselves for 14 days.
President Magufuli insisted the mandatory isolation will be done at the passengers’ own costs. There are so far 12 confirmed coronavirus cases.
The government has been taking all necessary precautions with the doctors closely monitoring patients who are isolated.
Last week, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa issued directives for strengthening prevention by closing all primary, secondary, colleges and universities for a period of 30 days.
The government has also banned all public gatherings including seminars, forums, and festivals as well as any sports activities including leagues to convene within the same timeframe.
Other interventions include capacity building for doctors and health workers responsible for handling Covid-19 cases, and strengthening all the country’s borders, gateways and major airports in Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and Mwanza Airports.