DAR ES SALAAM – Tanzania’s health minister Ummy Mwalimu has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the minister’s tweetedas on Friday.
The vibrant and outspoken minister, Ms. Ummy Mwalimu revealed she has tested positive for the deadly virus after developing mild symptoms.
Regardless of her current health status, Ms. Ummy pledged to keep on serving the state.
“It is unfortunate that I have tested positive for coronavirus. But I’ll continue to serve my nation remotely as if i was on the frontline till things get better”, she said in the tweet made in Swahili.
Her case comes after it was announced that Augustine Mahiga, Tanzania’s minister for constitution and legal affairs, had died earlier on Friday, with no official explanation for his death. The legislator was 74.
His death followed that of Gertrude Rwakatare on April 20 and Richard Ndassa on April 29.
The government has not commented on the cause of their deaths, issuing statements only to announce their passing and convey condolences.
Last month, Parliament announced that one MP had tested positive for the new coronavirus.
By Thursday, Tanzania had confirmed 480 coronavirus cases and 16 deaths, the only update it has given in the past ten days. The Health Minister’s case will bring the total number of cases to 481.
Regular updates were being given until President John Magufuli on April 22 said the Ministry of Health was “causing panic” with their announcements of cases and deaths.
Tanzania is one of a few countries in Africa that has not taken drastic measures against COVID-19, and Magufuli is among a handful of world leaders still playing down the seriousness of the disease.
Schools and universities have been shut, but markets and other commercial activities are still going on, with President Magufuli urging citizens to continue working hard and not stop going to church or mosques.