Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.

SYMPTOMS OF CORONA VIRUS

Most common symptoms of Coronavirus

  • fever.
  • dry cough.
  • tiredness.

Less common symptoms of Coronavirus

  • aches and pains.
  • sore throat.
  • diarrhoea.
  • conjunctivitis.
  • headache.
  • loss of taste or smell.
  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes.

Serious symptoms of CoronaVirus

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  • chest pain or pressure.
  • loss of speech or movement.

NOTE

  • Seek immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms.
  • Always call before visiting your doctor or health facility.
  • People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should manage their symptoms at home.
  • On average, it takes 5–6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for  symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days.

PREVENTION

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.

Prevention tips for Coronavirus

To prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, do the following:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain at least 1-metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.

TOURISM IN TANZANIA AND COVID-19

Travellers arriving in Tanzania will now be required to present a negative test performed less than 72 hours before arrival in the country, Passengers coming from countries with a high number of infections will have to undergo an additional antigenic test

Tourism is one of the key economic sectors in Tanzania. Over the past few years, the sector’s impressive growth has enhanced macroeconomic diversification from the traditional reliance on agriculture. Tanzania is endowed with a variety of tourist attractions categorized into nature and non-nature based. The existence of these attractions appeals to a significant number of tourists both from within and outside Tanzania, thereby supporting the economy.

In December 2019 the world experienced an unexpected invasion of infectious disease caused by SARS-COV-2 virus (Corona Virus Disease-2019 or COVID-19), the disease was declared by WHO as a pandemic on 11th March 2020. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), through a joint statement issued on 27th February, 2020 asked countries in the world that, their response to the outbreak of COVID-19 be measured consistently and proportionately to the threat posed for public health (put people first).

In recognition of the importance of health, safety and security of tourists and the general public, Tanzania’s tourism industry is presenting detailed protocols regarding control measures and procedures towards preventing the spread of COVID-19. The protocols referred to as Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have to be adopted and customized by all tourism entities (companies, authorities and other related service providers dealing with tourists) to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Government institutions, tourism business operators and other stakeholders are under instructions to continuously monitor on advisories issued by the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC). Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) form a general guideline and have been based on the WHO and other international guidelines.

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOPS)

Standard Operating Procedures for Airports

  1. All arriving flights must be Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) compliant to allow Airport Authorities to receive and interrogate the flight manifest for possible high-risk passengers and crews. Non-APIS compliant flights or airlines should be notified that their passengers and crews will be either subjected to MoHCDGEC (port health) pre-screening or may ultimately have their entry denied. However, passengers and crews showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 will be directed to medical team upon arrival for consultation.
  2. Airlines should ensure that all passengers and crews are screened for Corona virus prior to boarding the flight as they may be subjected to testing by the MoHCDGEC officials on arrival if need arises
  3. Ensure that all airports have required equipment approved by the MoHCDGEC to assess passenger’s physical condition. Equipment such as non-contact thermometers shall be put in proper places in all terminals
  4. Ensure that posters with information about COVID-19 preventive measures are placed in the visible part of the passenger’s check-in area
  5. Ensure that enough disinfectant is placed at the Check-in counters and passengers’ waiting areas for passengers to disinfect their hands and that check in areas are clean and regularly disinfected;
  6. High touch areas such as armrests, seats/chairs, rails, wheelchairs, trolley should be frequently disinfected
  7. Ensure that all staff working in the areas such as security, check-in counter, boarding, immigration, restaurants, shops, health care, ground cleaning etc., use proper protective gears
  8. Airports should as much as possible practice “physical distancing” during passenger check-in, transfer and gate handling. This includes:-
    1. Using portable boarding scanners for passengers where possible to avoid the need for personnel to handle boarding cards;
    2. Marking signs should be indicated in congestion prone areas and
    3. Arrangement of chairs in the waiting lounges as per requirements of MoHCDGEC
  9. Airport ventilation should be enhanced. Air-conditioning systems and natural ventilation in public areas such as terminals must be enhanced while observing local climate, terminal layout, and structure of the airport to improve air circulation within the building
  10. Security inspection in key areas such as document verification counters, baggage packing areas, baggage plates, hand-held metal detectors and security screening facilities should be disinfected regularly, and hand sanitizers should be provided in screening isles
  11. Service providers at airports to ensure compliance with Aeronautical Information Circulars (AICs) and Notice to Airmen (NOTAMs) as may be published and updated from time to time by Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority

Standard Operating Procedures for Ground Crossing Tourists

  1. Tourists will be checked their temperature at Point of Entry (PoE) before they are allowed to enter the country and other tourist destinations in the country;
  2. Tourists should adhere to COVID-19 preventive and control measures as advised by MoHCDGEC including;
    1. Maintaining a distance of at least one (1) meter from one person to another whilst interacting with each other,
    2. Handwashing with running water and soap or use hand sanitizer,
    3. Wearing mask as appropriate.
  3. All travellers are supposed to provide trustworthy information for their destination including phone numbers and hotel for ease follow up

Standard Operating Procedures for Accommodation Facilities

  1. Screening for guests/staff for temperature at hotel facilities should be done at entry
  2. All accommodation facilities should frequently clean and disinfect surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, light switches and doorknobs
  3. Dinning and breakfast facilities should limit the number of guests to adhere to the safety physical distance required
  4. All accommodation facilities should avoid buffet style meal services instead opt for plate service or English service
  5. While serving guests social distancing as recommended by the MoHCDGEC should be observed
  6. Items which guests handle regularly must be sanitized regularly
  7. In all places possible, clean with a set of disposable cleaning equipment

 

Standard Operating Procedures for Tour Operators

  1. All effort must be made by all tourism operators who are required to interface with guests, to protect themselves by using sanitizers, gloves and face masks or any other item(s) required for personal safety.
  2. All tourism operators should maintain a safe physical distance with guests whom they interact with.
  3. All vehicles should be sanitized with recommended solutions between each transfer. Surfaces and objects such as car door handles, seats, binoculars or guide books used by guests during and after the tour are sanitized with a recommended disinfectant
  4. Immediately contact designated authorities of any suspicious cases.

Standard Operating Procedures for Protected Areas (e.g. National Parks,Game Reserves, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Forest Reserves and Museum).

  1. Screening for guests/staff for temperature in the protected areas should be done at entry.
  2. COVID-19 Rapid Response Team and ambulance at different hot spots in the protected areas should be established
  3. Selected Health Centers in the protected areas should be enhanced to provide emergency services for COVID-19 cases
  4. All high touch surfaces should be decontaminated with recommended disinfectant.
  5. Bathrooms, toilet bowls and basins must be cleaned regularly with approved disinfectant solutions and regularly sanitized. Where applicable, paper towels/disposable towels and sanitary bins for safe disposal shall be made available for guests and staff
  6. All staff should use recommended protective gears when attending guests and servicing guest areas
  7. Handwashing and sanitizing facilities such as soap, sanitizers, and running water should be made available and accessible to both guests and staff
  8. All employees should be trained on COVID-19 preventive and control measures as directed by MoHCDGEC including;
    1. Maintain a distance of at least one (1) meter from one person to another whilst interacting with each other,
    2. Handwashing with running water and soap or use hand sanitizer, c) Wear mask as appropriate.
    3. Wear mask as appropriate.
  9. Where applicable in public campsites, all tourists and camp crew should pitch their tents at a reasonable distance of not less than three meters apart
  10. Ensure that all cultural practices are performed while observing preventive measures such as avoiding shaking hands, hugging and touching of objects
  11. Ensure preventive measures are taken during exchange of artifacts and visiting designated cultural tourism enterprises.
  12. Work closely with accommodation service providers and other operators of tourism facilities to ensure that safety procedures and protocols are observed as guided by MoHCDGEC.
  13. Each camping site should not exceed the number of visitors and crews recommended.
  14. Dining facilities provided in the camps should limit the number of guests to adhere to the safety distance recommended.
  15. Ensure that visitor registration system for signing in and out observes social distancing
  16. Ensure that Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials about COVID-19 preventive measures are placed in the visible part of the entry point
  17. Ensure mountain climbing equipment are disinfected before climbing and all crew handling mountain climbing equipment perform handwashing with running water and soap or hand sanitizers
  18. Weighing scales used for mountain climbing activities, should be disinfected with recommended disinfectants.

Standard Operating Procedures for Mountain Climbing Operators

  1. All operators should ensure mountain climbing equipment are sanitized or disinfected before climbing
  2. All operators should ensure that, crew handling mountain climbing equipment perform handwashing with running water and soap or hand sanitizers before climbing
  3. All mountain crew should be trained and exercise COVID-19 preventive and control measures as directed by MoHCDGEC
  4. All food packing facilities and equipment should be cleaned and disinfected with approved disinfectants to avoid COVID-19 contamination
  5. All fresh food should be cleaned and packed under hygienic conditions.
  6. All mountain crew should maintain at least 1 meter physical distance with guests whom they interact with
  7. All mountain crew should be screened for temperature and where it exceeds normal body temperature (37.5 0C) should get medical advice prior to entering the park
  8. Weighing scales should be frequently disinfected with approved disinfectant to prevent contaminations
  9. All mountain crew should ensure bathrooms; toilet bowls and basins are cleaned regularly with approved disinfectant solutions; and
  10. Where applicable paper towels and sanitary bins for safe disposal shall be made available for guests and staff.