Covid-19 in Tanzania


Covid-19 Files

As Covid-19 sweeps around the planet, news has focused on places where death tolls have been high: Italy, Mexico, Brazil, the US and — of course — China, where the pandemic began.

Early predictions about the potential for outbreaks in Africa have yet to materialize. Whether swift lock downs or non-reporting is the reason is unclear. Still, the World Health Organization warns that 250 million Africans could come down with Covid-19 by this time next year, with between 150 and 190,000 deaths.

I spoke with GPM correspondent Josephat Mwanzi, in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam.


Worldometer provides comparative statistics on the pandemic. As of May 21, there have been a total of 509 reported cases of SARS-Covid-19 in Tanzania — and a total of 21 deaths.  In the infection rate column, Tanzania ranks 197, at nine reported cases per million. For comparison (in reported cases per million):

#1: San Marino — 19,397
#11: US — 4860
#18: Italy — 3770
#93: South Africa — 323
#162: China — 58.

Further details from Josephat:

On May 20, Tanzanian president John Magufuli announced three days of “national prayer,  as thanksgiving to God” for having “heard his prayer by interrupting the pandemic.”

President Magufuli is also considering re-opening sports events and the tourism industry, and has asked the Ministry of Tourism to assess the situation. Universities and colleges will soon re-open.

Dar es Salaam University Library. Very quiet.

Photos by Josephat Mwanzi