THE government has called upon Tanzanians to do away with the mentality that COVID-19 is a disease that affects white people, and instead every person should take necessary precautionary measures against the spread of the deadly virus.
Speaking to Community Development (CDOs) and Social Welfare (SWOs) officers from Dar es Salaam region in the city yesterday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MCDGC), Mr John Jingu said the presence of 13 confirmed cases in the country proves that the disease can attack anybody irrespective of race.
He said CDOs and SWOs are duty bound to sensitise the public on the symptoms of the viral disease, insisting that the public should be left to proceed with daily activities.
“The entire world is on the battle field, and any person can be infected; the most important thing is taking needed precautions against the virus.”
He noted that guidelines and instructions provided by the government are the ones to be followed.
“There are things that are prohibited in other countries, but not in Tanzania. As public servants we should not go and prohibit them to the society, rather we should help our citizens take serious protective measures as they go on with their normal routines. Generally the nation is safe, however, we should not relax but continue adding more efforts to make sure the country continues to remain safe, and the main weapon for this war is education,” he asserted.
He said CDOs and SWOs are experts in providing awareness and changing the mindsets of the community, therefore winning the battle needs people to stop some of their practices, like handshakes and hugs.
He stressed that this needs minor yet important protocols that need change, especially social distancing and maintaining cleanliness.
He said the work needs to be done beyond employee mentality, adding that it needs team work and is a multiple obligatory.
Public Health Emergencies’ Risk Communication (MCDGC) Officer, Dr Tumaini Haonga insisted that this is the time to put more efforts and focus on protective measures against the virus before it hits local transmission.
“The disease has ripple effects, especially in the social and economy aspects of the nation. CDOs and SWOs need to put more effort to ensure it is restricted,” he said.