Tanzania summons U.S. envoy over COVID-19 travel advisory

DAR ES SALAAM, May 27, (Xinhua/GNA) – The government of Tanzania on Tuesday summoned the U.S. Charge d’Affaires to the east African nation to express disappointment over the embassy’s issuance of travel advisories that indicated the situation of COVID-19 in the country was alarming.

Wilbert Ibuge, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, summoned U.S. Charge d’Affaires to Tanzania, Inmi Patterson, in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, said a statement issued by the ministry.

The statement said Ibuge expressed disappointment to the U.S. envoy over issuance of travel advisories through the embassy’s official Twitter over Tanzania’s COVID-19 situation without verification.

“For instance, on May 13, 2020, and on May 25, 2020, the U.S. embassy through its official Twitter issued travel advisories cautioning Americans in Tanzania and those who intended to travel to Dar es Salaam that the business city was not safe because of its high number of COVID-19 cases, ” the statement quoted Ibuge as saying.

According to the statement, Ibuge said the U.S. embassy travel advisories claimed that many hospitals in Dar es Salaam, without mentioning them, were overcrowded with COVID-19 patients, which sent a false alarm to the public.

Ibuge also stressed the importance of issuing available verified information on COVID-19 to avoid creating panic to the public during his talk with Patterson, said the statement.

On the other hand, Ibuge thanked Patterson over the cooperation between Tanzania and the U.S. in various sectors, including health, education, trade, investment, defense and security, according to the statement.