By Felix Tih
ANKARA (AA) – The US Embassy in Tanzania has warned that the risk of contracting coronavirus in Dar es Salaam, a major city and commercial port, and other regions is extremely high because it has not released COVID-19 data in several weeks.
''Tanzanian government has not released aggregate numbers on COVID-19 cases or deaths since April 29. Consequently, we are unable to provide specific guidance for U.S. citizens in Tanzania,'' it said in a statement on Tuesday.
''Given the presumed ongoing community transmission in Dar es Salaam and other locations in Tanzania, the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains high."
Tanzanian health facilities can become quickly overwhelmed in a healthcare crisis, it added.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli has been criticized for not implementing strict measures to curb the spread of the virus. Unlike neighboring countries, Tanzania did not close places of worship, with some saying prayers would “defeat the virus.”
Last month, Magufuli said Tanzania’s economy must go ahead as it is more important than coronavirus, which has killed 21 people in the East African country.
Magufuli said his decision was due to a "decline" in COVID-19 cases in the country.
''Limited hospital capacity throughout Tanzania could result in life-threatening delays for emergency medical care,'' the US statement said.
Tanzania has confirmed 509 COVID-19 cases, with 21 deaths and 183 recoveries, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University.
Last month, it summoned US Ambassador Inmi Pattreson to convey objections over a "misleading" advisory on the COVID-19 situation in the East African nation.