The United States government has warned its citizens against travelling to Tanzania to avoid the risk of contracting the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Wednesday cautioned Americans against making trips to the East African country, warning that such travels could expose them to the risk of getting infected by the deadly virus that has been blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide.
CDC, in its advisory, said such trips should be avoided at all costs and that, in case one must travel, then they must adhere to the health protocols on Covid-19.
“Travellers should avoid all travel to Tanzania. Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading Covid-19,” the CDC said in a statement on its website.
The statement comes in the backdrop of concerns and criticism over how Tanzanian authorities, led by President John Magufuli, have handled the virus since it was first reported in the country in March.
President Magufuli has insisted that the country is free of the killer virus, thanks to prayers and the faith of Tanzanians.
The Tanzanian authorities have since ruled out the possibility of locking down the country or enforcing Covid-19 guidelines.
“I want to thank Tanzanians of all faiths. We have been praying and fasting for God to save us from the pandemic that has afflicted the world. And God has answered us. I believe, and I'm certain, that many Tanzanians believe that the coronavirus disease has been eliminated by God,” President Magufuli told worshippers in Dodoma.
The Tanzanian government also stopped publishing data on the number of coronavirus cases in the country, with the latest and final tally on infections released in April indicating that there were 509 cases, with 21 deaths in Tanzania.
Mr Magufuli has repeatedly said the health crisis has been exaggerated and urged people to attend services in churches and mosques, saying that prayers “can vanquish” the virus.
CDC, in its statement, urged travellers to get tested one to three days before travel, and that only after receiving the results should one be allowed to leave the country.
Those travelling back to the US will also be tested one to three days earlier and will be required to follow and adhere to the Covid-19 regulations.
“During travel, wear a mask, stay at least six feet from people who are not travel-ling with you, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer, and watch your health for signs of illness,” CDC said.