Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend.
Tanzania inoculates over 300,000 people against COVID-19
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Prof Abel Makubi said Sunday that since the government started rolling out its COVID-19 vaccination program on August 3, 2021, a total of 304, 603 people from the targeted groups, which include people with underlying health conditions, healthcare workers and the elderly, have been vaccinated.
Dr Makubi said in a statement yesterday that among those vaccinated 201, 476, which is an equivalent of 66.1 per cent, are men while 103,127 (33.9 per cent) are women.
Tanzania plans to inoculate at least 35 million people or 60 per cent of the population. The U.S. government had donated the vaccines to Tanzania through the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX initiative, the global vaccine-sharing facility that the East African nation requested to join in mid-June this year.
“I’m directing all service providers from all hospitals and [medical] centres to dedicate some time to educate people on the importance of [COVID-19] vaccines,” Prof Makubi said in the statement. “Apart from applauding regional, district and local governments in sensitizing people on COVID-19 vaccines, efforts must be taken to take the awareness campaigns in the peripheries.”
Prof Makubi challenged local government authorities to make sure that more centres for vaccination are established, urging local government officials to think of coming up with a mobile vaccination service so that it can be easier for people, especially the elderly, to access the vaccines.
Meanwhile, Zanzibar Health Minister Mr Ahmed Nassor Mazrui said over the weekend that the COVID-19 situation in the semi-autonomous archipelago is “not good” following an increase in the number of people contracting the killer disease as well as people who die from it, according to the government-owned Daily News newspaper.
The paper quoted Mr Mazrui as saying that COVID-19 cases in the isles have increased from 390 recorded on August 10, 2021, to 876 while the number of death jumped from 15 to 40 in the past 17 days.
He added that between June 25, 2021, and August 10, 2021, a total of 29,326 people were tested of which 390 were found to be COVID-19 positive (112 Tanzanians and 270 foreigners) and there were 15 deaths.
From August 10 to 27, a total of 45, 522 were tested, and 876 were positive (including 110 Tanzanians). Mr Mazrui said that a total of 61 patients have recovered from the disease while 36 people are still battling for their lives at Mnazi Mmoja Referral Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ward.
“The situation is not good,” the Daily News quoted Mr Mazrui as saying. “People should take health precautions seriously as per guidelines; avoid handshake and hugging, gatherings, observe social distancing, wash your hands regularly or sanitize, wear masks and make sure you go for vaccination at the selected health facilities.”
Govt dismayed at Denmark’s intention to close embassy in Dar by 2024
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Liberata Mulamula said on Saturday that the government is dismayed at the decision by the Danish government to close its embassy in Dar es Salaam by 2024, before adding that still, the East African nation was counting on Denmark as an ally in its development efforts.
Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Jeppe Kofod said in a statement on Friday that the Scandinavian country’s embassy in Dar es Salaam will be closed together with the Danish embassy in Argentina, the country’s Consulate General in Chongqing, China and Trade Mission in Barcelona, Spain.
Mr Kofod attributed the closure of embassies to the ongoing restructuring of the Danish Foreign Service that aims at delivering more on the government’s priorities. Mr Kofod said that the reorganisation currently underway in the Scandinavian country is designed to help the Danish government achieves “the biggest possible difference” through its foreign services.
“Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Ambassador Liberata Mulamula has expressed the government’s dismay at the Danish government’s decision [to close its embassy in Dar es Salaam],” a statement from Mulamula’s ministry said on August 28, 2021. “[This is so] considering the deliberate efforts the sixth phase government continues to take to improve its diplomacy and relations with other countries, including Denmark.”
Ambassador Mulamula presented the government’s reaction to the development to the Danish Minister for Development Co-operation Mr Flemming Møller Mortensen during a virtual conference. Ambassador Mulamula participated in the meeting from Washington, D.C., where she is for an official trip.
Over the past fifty years of Danish-Tanzania relations, the East African nation has received more Danish development assistance than any other country, amounting to more than 14 billion DKK, which is an equivalent of over Sh5 trillion.
Tanzania also was the first African country with which Denmark initiated a development assistance partnership in 1963 shortly after the Tanzanian Mainland, then known as Tanganyika, became independent.
It is against this background that Tanzania believes that despite the steps taken by Denmark to close its embassy in Dar es Salaam, the Danish government will “continue to work with Tanzania on various development issues including supporting Tanzania’s agenda in the European Union, the United Nations and other international platforms,” Ambassador Mulamula said in a statement.
Samia starts recording of Royal Tour documentary
Director of Presidential Communications Mr Jaffar Haniu said in a statement on Sunday that President Samia Suluhu Hassan has started the recording of a documentary titled ‘Royal Tour’ that is meant to promote Tanzania internationally.
Royal tours are intended to strengthen relationships with the visited countries as well as inspire policy changes.
Mr Haniu said that the Head of State took part in the first recording on August 28, 2021, in Zanzibar where the President is on an official visit. In the course of the recording of the documentary, President Samia is expected to show visitors different attractions available within Tanzania’s borders.
Dr Hassan Abba, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, will be the chairperson of the President’s Committee established to coordinate the plan to promote Tanzania internationally.
“The president will show visitors different tourism, investments, arts and cultural attractions available in the country,” reads part of the statement.
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