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Covid-19: TZ’s first death is bro-in-law of Bongo Star Search TV show founder

Tanzania on Tuesday confirmed its first coronavirus death.

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu in a statement said the 49-year-old Tanzanian male, who had pre-existing conditions, had been admitted to Mloganzila Hospital in Dar Es Salaam for treatment.

A source has revealed to Nairobi News that the Tanzanian male is Iddi Hashim Mbita who was taken to ICU on Saturday and passed on, on Tuesday.

He is a brother-in-law of Rita Paulsen, the founder of Bongo Star Search TV show.

He was married to Rita’s younger sister Alice Paulsen Mbita and they had two sons.

According to the source, he was okay on Friday last week but ended up in ICU the same evening, tested positive of Covid-19 and died this morning.

He was asthmatic, which might have complicated things. He will be buried on Tuesday afternoon and only close family members will attend the funeral.

“Due to circumstance and cause of his death, the government will conduct the burial today afternoon and only few people will attend. As a family we will not hold any funeral to avoid further spread of the disease,” said the spokesperson.

On Monday, Tanzania recorded five new Covid-19 cases, bringing the national tally to 19.

“As of Monday, March 30, the total number of patients with Covid-19 reached 19 cases, for which two more are in Zanzibar and the rest are in Tanzania mainland,” Ms Mwalimu told journalists.

One person has recovered, the first patient to contract the virus, according to Ms Mwalimu.

Ms Mwalimu urged Tanzanians to take precautions to prevent the spread of infections and to report at any medical centre if they develop any symptoms of the respiratory illness.

The government has suspended social gatherings, concerts and ordered the closure of schools and colleges.