Coronavirus: News & impact on our UWCEA community - Click Here

Coronavirus

This page has been created to carry announcements and information that may benefit the UWCEA community regarding the pandemic of Covid-19, and will be updated whenever new information is available.

This page was last updated on 30 March 2020

On 30th March the Minister for Health confirmed five more positive Covid-19 tests. This brings current numbers as follows:

  • 19 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Tanzania
  • 2 Arusha, 11 Dar, 5 Zanzibar, 1 Kagera
  • 12 Tanzanians, 5 foreigners, 2 not yet announced

See Min of Health statement (30 March) here.
Previous case numbers were 13 (26th March – see details below), and 14 (28th March).

Departure Information
The only international airlines still serving Tanzania are Ethiopian Airlines (from Dar and Kilimanjaro) and Qatar Airways (from Zanzibar). Flights are not as frequent as previously. The USA is asking all Americans to leave Tanzania and return home. The UK is asking all British tourists and short-term residents to leave Tanzania and return home.

People arriving in Tanzania mainland from high-risk countries are subject to 14 days quarantine. Details are given in the Ministry of Health Travel Advisory below.

Zanzibar introduced new social-distancing regulations on 23rd March. They also require all foreign visitors arriving on flights to be subject to 14 days government quarantine. Arriving residents and Tanzanian nationals may enter self-quarantine in Zanzibar. [See Zanzibar Regulations and Notice to Airlines below]

See below for advice on who to contact if you believe you may have Covid-19.

Schools and colleges have been closed by the government for an initial period of one month and are due to re-open on 17th April 2020, although this date is subject to review. UWCEA has closed in line with government directives. The school is now on the scheduled Easter break. Online learning will recommence on 15th April. Face-to-face classes will recommence on 20th April if the government re-opens schools.

Secondary students will find their work posted through their ManageBac accounts. Parents of primary students are receiving information from the class teachers via email.

IB Diploma (D2) students should read the NEW! IB notice on Examinations and also the Director’s Message of 22 March below.

This page aims to give information to our community. If you can help with relevant, verified information on the coronavirus outbreak that is pertinent to Tanzania and/or our UWCEA community, please send it to webmaster@uwcea.com or to +255 767 534766 via WhatsApp.

IB Coursework and Examinations

Please read here details of IB's special arrangements for schools that have been forced to close: IB coronavirus page

D2 students: It is important that you read the information on this page for details of how you will be graded.

The IB issued a statement on 22nd March regarding examinations:
"Our students, their well-being and their progression in future stages of life have been at the forefront of our thinking as we respond to this extraordinary pandemic. Our days and deliberations have been 24x7 focusing on what is the ethical and responsible action in these trying times.
With considerable advisement from stakeholders across the globe including schools, students, universities and qualification bodies, we have determined the most responsible and ethical way forward.

The IB will be taking the following actions for the 2020 May Examination session:
• The May 2020 examinations, as scheduled between 30 April and 22 May, for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme students will no longer be held.
• Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate. This is based on student’s submitted coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes.
"

Further details (and an attempt to answer the many questions this statement raises) have been sent to schools. It is not yet clear how or whether MYP e-assessments will be conducted.

In a separate development, England has cancelled all A Level examinations scheduled for June/July. UK universities are now moving towards unconditional offers of places for applicants.

MoH Statement - 26 March

The full statement from the Minister of Health (in Swahili) is here.
A summary in English follows:

Public Notice:
From the Minister of Health Ummy Mwalimu:

  • Since January 1st, 2020: 1,890,533 passengers were screened in 27 entry points:
    airports, harbours, ports, boarders
  • in the last 24 hours 3,471 travellers were screened
  • until March 26th: 273 people have been tested (243 from Tanzania mainland, 30 from zanzibar).
    - 260 tested negative from the virus; 13 tested positive.
  • As of today 13 cases are confirmed cases. Arusha (2 patients); Dar es Salaam (8 cases); Zanzibar (2 cases); Kagera (1 case).
    - out of the 13 cases, 8 are Tanzanians while 5 are foreigners. 0ne (1) patient contracted the virus without travelling abroad
  • As of today there are no local transmissions detected. The patients are recovering well. In Arusha one patient is being released, therefore there will be only one patient remaining.
  • As from 23/3 all travellers coming from countries that have been infected are placed under mandatory isolation in special hotels or areas.
  • As of today 111 people are under mandatory isolation.
    - in all regions, country wide, the govt continues to identify areas suitable for isolation while bearing in mind the budget of the visitors in order not to cause inconveniences.
  • The visitors are also given psychosocial support.
  • Health Minister has received equipments from the Chinese Jack Ma (Alibaba). These includes PPE kits, Rapid Testing kits, Masks.
  • For health workers minister stressed on adherence to infection prevention controls models (IPC).
  • Ministry and relevant bodies continue the contact tracing exercises especially in Dar es Salaam/Arusha/Zanzibar/Kagera.
  • Please note for any queries use the number 199 instead of the number circulated earlier 0800110037 and 0800110124.
    Also follow updates on ministry's Twitter, instagram, facebook, website www.moh.go.tz
Director's Message - 26 March

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Tomorrow is the last day of quarter three and the end of our first full week of online learning. Throughout the week, students and their teachers have been working together, and we are also very aware that many of you have been learning with your children. I thank you for all the support you have shown your children. We know it has not always been easy.

We are in unprecedented times and all hope that we will get back to normal soon. Exactly what this normal will look like, no one is very sure. That said we know this cannot last forever. As a school we are ready to reopen and get back into the classroom as soon as we are allowed and it is safe to do so.

As we move into our quarter three break, I hope you manage to find some time to enjoy your children and that they have a deserved rest. For many of the students, this is a very confusing time and they need our help to understand what is happening around them. They are not in school but it Is not a holiday, they are at home but for many they are not meeting up with their friends as they would normally. Whilst much of the world is now in formal lockdown; here in Tanzania we are not under curfew or restrictions, but we have been asked to limit all non-essential travel and interactions. As we cast our eyes to elsewhere on the continent, we see how governments are first asking, and then imposing, strict restriction on movement. We might hope otherwise, but we should prepare for a greater control to be placed on us.

Stay safe. The advice remains to wash your hands, limit travel and practice social distancing. We all need to do everything we can to keep ourselves and our families healthy.

Kind regards,

Anna Marsden

Director's message to students - 26 March

Dear Students,
Today I am writing to you all directly to send you strength and support and also to say please do not worry. The current situation is out of your hands and, whilst this may be frustrating, you must rely on the adults and institutions around you to manage what is happening. You can only do what you can do.

Some of you are in situations where you can access your online classes easily, others are not. Your teachers understand this and they are flexible. Some of you will be able to return should the school open again after the break, and others will not. Again, don’t worry, we are preparing for this. Some of you are at home, some are at school, some are with host families and some are in quarantine. Wherever you are, take some time to breathe. Whilst this is our situation right now, it will not last forever. We will be learning together and together we will find a way forward.

For our D2 and M5 students, you will graduate this year. It might not look and feel like it has in previous years but don’t let the events of these final weeks overshadow and define your school experience. What you have learnt, in and out of the classroom, will be with you long after this has passed. Some of you have left the country and may not return to school but others of you will. Whatever your situation, you will all be alumni of our school.

Stay connected with each other, stay connected with us. Do what you can but also spend some time focusing on yourself. You will be (and probably already are) bombarded with news, this can be both alarming and overwhelming. Limit what you read and limit what you share. Be kind to each other and make sure that each day you have some fun.

Warm regards and stay healthy,
Anna Marsden

MoH Travel Advisory - 23 March

Quarantine - Designated hotels (23 Mar)

In Arusha, a list of hotels being used for quarantine has been published.

And in Dar es Salaam.

We do not have details for other parts of the country.

Zanzibar Regulations - 23 March

These regulations are now coming into force in Zanzibar:

A rough summary of this in English is:
1. People should quickly shop in markets and leave. Prolonged conversations prohibited.
2. Markets will open from dawn to 6pm
3. All bars, restaurants and recreational centres closed until further notice.
4. Public gatherings not allowed. This includes seminars, weddings and family events. Regional and district authorities to ensure people follow the regulations.

Zanzibar - Notice to airlines - 21 March

You think you might have coronavirus? (Dar es Salaam)

This is to let you know the current process for getting tested for COVID19 in Dar es Salaam.
 
Option 1:  STAY HOME
There are 3 numbers for TTCL that are free and they will screen you over the phone.  I am told they speak English and Swahili. If you can stay home they will come to your home and collect a sample.  They will let you know the result within 24hours and advise you to quarantine at home if you are positive. 
(i)               0800110124
(ii)              0800110125
(iii)            0800110037
 
Option 2: Go to a hospital
All hospitals should be screening for COVID19 and if they are concerned they will call the Rapid Response Team (same that can come to your house) to come take a sample.  I can confidently say the Emergency Department at Muhimbili is doing this well.  If you are positive but do not need hospital care you will be sent home to self-quarantine.  If you need hospital care you will be transferred to a facility near Kibaha. 
 
Please be patient.  There are a few teams serving all of Dar es Salaam. All samples are being processed at the government lab and the time to take the sample and get a result could be 24hours.  They are really trying to turn around in 6-12hours.  Until you have your result, please assume you are contagious and isolate yourself as much as possible.
 
If you are having trouble breathing, go to a hospital immediately.  Muhimbili National Hospital in Upanga is a good option as well as Aga Khan. 
 
Use paracetamol for fever.  The WHO recommends no anti-inflammatories (like Buprofen) as there is evidence it leads to worse outcomes.
Hospital treatment is oxygen and in severe cases the use of a ventilator.
 
Stay home, stay safe!

Aga Khan Hospital (Dar) - Covid19

Instructions for patients self-quarantining

Guidelines
You have to stay inside your house. You may not go outside. You may sit in your garden or on your balcony if there are no other people there. You are not allowed to receive visitors, except your family doctor and the GGD.

What should you do if you share your house with other people?
Nobody except the people who actually live in your house may enter your house. Your housemates may not receive visitors either.
We have a separate information letter for your housemates, which you will receive by email. Would you make sure that they are aware of this information?
You must stay in your own room as much as possible. This is where you sleep, and you must sleep alone.
The other people living in the house may only enter your room as infrequently as possible.
You must limit your contact with the other people in the house to the greatest extent possible and maintain a distance of 2 metres from one another. So no hugging, no kissing, and no sex!
You must use your own separate cutlery, plates, cups, and glasses.
Also, you may not share a toothbrush with anyone else.
Neither may you share your towels.
If possible, you must use a separate toilet and have a bathroom all to yourself. Do you have only one toilet and bathroom in the house? Then you can share these with your housemates. It is important that the toilet and bathroom are cleaned every day and that the room is ventilated by opening the window for 30 minutes.

Do others have to come into your room?
Maintain a distance of 2 metres between you and your housemates.

Do you have to leave the room?
Maintain a distance of 2 metres between you and your housemates.

How do you ensure good personal hygiene?
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Always do this after coughing or sneezing, going to the toilet, or cleaning and tidying up.
If you cough or sneeze:
Use tissues rather than cloth handkerchiefs. Don’t have any tissues at hand? Cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
Use a tissue only once and discard it in a plastic bag after use.

How do you maintain good hygiene in the house?
Stay in a separate room as much as possible.
Also open a window a few times a day in the rooms where you are staying. This will allow fresh air to come in.

Clean the bathroom and toilet every day.
Before you start, put on a pair of disposable gloves.
Clean with an ordinary household detergent.
Include taps, light switches and door handles.
When you are finished, put the cleaning cloth directly into the wash.
Remove your gloves and throw them in a plastic rubbish bag.
Wash your hands afterwards with soap and water.

Clean frequently used surfaces every day.
These are surfaces that are frequently touched, such as bedside tables, door handles and light switches.
Before you start, put on a pair of disposable gloves.
Start by cleaning everything with an ordinary household detergent.
Next, clean all items that are frequently touched, such as flush handles, door handles and light switches with household bleach.
Use a fresh bucket filled with 5 litres of water for this. Stir in 125 millilitres of bleach (about a coffee cup). Bleach water is available in all supermarkets.
When you are finished, put the cleaning cloth directly into the wash.
Remove your gloves and throw them in a plastic rubbish bag.
Wash your hands afterwards with soap and water.

Avoid dispersion of body fluids such as stools, spit, snot, sweat, and urine.
Housemates must wear gloves that they can throw away when entering your room, when doing laundry or dishes, or when disposing any waste that you have used.
Put your laundry in a separate laundry basket and wash it at a temperature of 60 degrees at minimum, with a full programme and normal detergent.
Wash your dishes separately with a standard dishwashing detergent and hot water, or in the dishwasher using the longest and hottest programme.
Dispose of your waste in a separate rubbish bag in your own room. Wear gloves when disposing of the rubbish bag. The bag can be put in the normal grey rubbish bin.

[Source: Dutch health authorities]

Instructions for living with a patient

Instruction for persons sharing a house with someone with COVID-19

What do we ask from you?
Nobody except the people who actually live in your house may enter your house. You may not receive visitors.
Avoid spending time in the room where your infected housemate is staying.
You must try to have as little contact as possible with this person. Maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from this person, so do not hug them, kiss them, or have sex with them.
Ensure good personal hygiene and good hygiene in the house. You can read what that means below.
Have your housemate use a separate bathroom and toilet if possible. Do you have only one bathroom and toilet in the house? Then you can share them. It is important that you clean the toilet every day and ventilate the room by opening the window for 30 minutes, if possible.

What if you must be in the same room as your housemate?
Put on disposable gloves before entering the room, if possible.
Maintain a distance of 2 metres between you and your housemate.

After leaving the room:
Remove your disposable gloves.
Dispose of them immediately into a plastic rubbish bag.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Dry your hands with a paper towel.

How do you ensure good personal hygiene?
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Always do this after coughing or sneezing, going to the toilet, or cleaning and washing dishes.

If you cough or sneeze:
Use tissues rather than cloth handkerchiefs. Don’t have any tissues at hand? Cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
Use a tissue only once and discard it in a plastic bag after use. Wash your hands.

How do you maintain good hygiene in the house?
Make sure your housemate is confined to a separate room as much as possible.
Make sure that the rooms where your housemate comes are regularly ventilated by opening the window for 30 minutes.
Also open a window a few times a day in the rooms where you are staying. This will allow fresh air to come in.

Clean the bathroom and toilet every day.
Include taps, light switches and door handles.
Before you start, put on a pair of disposable gloves.
Clean with an ordinary household detergent.
When you are finished, put the cleaning cloth directly into the wash.
Remove your gloves and throw them in a plastic rubbish bag.
Wash your hands afterwards with soap and water.

Clean frequently used surfaces every day.
These are surfaces that your housemate frequently touches, such as bedside tables, door handles and light switches.
Before you start, put on a pair of disposable gloves.
Start by cleaning everything with an ordinary household detergent.
Next, clean all items touched by your housemate, such as flush handles, door handles and light switches with household bleach.
Use a fresh bucket filled with 5 litres of water for this. Stir in 125 millilitres of bleach (about a coffee cup). You can buy bleach at every supermarket.
When you are finished, put the cleaning cloth directly into the wash.
Remove your gloves and throw them in a plastic rubbish bag.
Wash your hands afterwards with soap and water.

[Source: Dutch health authorities]

World Health Organisation via WhatsApp

WHO information is available via WhatsApp.
Send a WhatsApp message ("hi") to +41 79 893 1892.
To see the menu, send 0 (zero).

UK/US travel advice for Tanzania

On 22nd March the UK updated its information regarding coronavirus in Tanania:
"Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Tanzania. As such, we recommend avoiding or limiting travel within Tanzania, where possible. The Tanzanian authorities have introduced a number of precautionary measures to limit the spread of the virus.

The Government of Tanzania have put in place strengthened screening measures at airports for all passengers arriving into Tanzania’s three international airports (Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar). You will need to provide personal details and be subject to a temperature check.

The Government of Tanzania is implementing mandatory quarantine for anyone arriving from high risk countries, even for those without symptoms. We are seeking clarification from the Government of Tanzania as to whether this includes the UK. You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the authorities.

The government has also banned public gatherings, closed schools and universities, and suspended sporting competitions."

The British High Commission in Dar has reduced staff, but is still providing full consular services. UK advice to British nationals is to avoid ALL international travel unless essential.

On 23rd March, the FCO stated: "We are strongly urging UK travellers overseas to return home now where and while there are still commercial routes to do so. Around the world, more airlines are suspending flights and more airports are closing, some without any notice.

Where commercial routes don’t exist, our staff are working round the clock to give advice and support to UK nationals. If you are on holiday abroad the time to come home is now while you still can."

You can read the full UK Travel advice section for Tanzania here: UK Travel Advice

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. US Embassies are reducing staff. These departures may limit the ability of U.S. Embassies and consulates to provide services to U.S. citizens.

Also the US Travel Advisory does not appear to have a section on coronavirus.

Director's Message - 22 March

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Today the IB have announced that the May 2020 diploma examinations will not take place as planned; they have yet to make a decision on the MYP on-screen examinations. The IB went on to say that further details as to how diploma students will now be assessed will be coming shortly. This has come as a shock to many students and their teachers and our thoughts are with them. As soon as we hear more, we will communicate this with you.

Tomorrow will see our first full week of online learning. This is new for both students and teachers, so please keep us informed as to how you think it is going. We can all learn from each other at this time. As planned, we will start our quarter three break on Saturday 28th March and return to online learning on 15th April. If we can reopen, we will be resuming face-to-face classes on 20th April.

Warm regards and stay healthy.
Anna Marsden
Director

Director's Message - 19 March

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

As I write I realise I do not have much more to say and fear that I will simply be repeating myself. That said, this morning I was reminded by a colleague how this situation is as new for teachers as it is for students and parents, and earlier tonight I wrote to all teachers thanking them for all the work they have put into producing a workable distance learning programme. Sometimes I wonder if education will ever be the same again. But for now I thank the teachers for the professionalism in how they are approaching their new roles.

Whilst there is still no final decision regarding the May session examinations, today the IBO issued a statement saying that they will publish their decision by 27th March. This will be welcome news for the M5 and D2 students as we are all waiting to hear the final outcome of their deliberations.

In addition to our teachers I must also thank the many parents and friends of the school who have opened their hearts and homes to our students. The generous spirit shown by many has been humbling and is sincerely appreciated.

As it currently stands, we will continue our online learning until the quarter ends on 27 March and will then start our quarter 3 break as planned.

Warm regards,

Anna Marsden

Director's message - 18 March

Dear Students, Parents and Guardians,

Throughout the day we have been saying goodbye to our students on both campuses. There has been much sadness, especially since some students know that this is the last time they might all be together. Everyone has been incredibly brave whilst at times feeling a little bewildered.

We are currently closed for thirty days and we will continue to abide by national directives. We are still waiting to hear from the IB about the upcoming May session examinations and will let you know as soon as we hear anything. At this time, there is no suggestion from the IB that the exams will be cancelled. Some students are asking if they can register for their examinations at other schools and, whilst we will help as much as we can, many of our schools around the world are in a state of flux. Most, at this time, don't know if they will be open in May so are not able to give guarantees.

Teachers in both Arusha and Moshi started developing their online learning materials today and students (and parents for younger students) will start receiving instructions in the next few days. Teachers are aware that students do not have the same access to the internet and that they will be striving for equal access for all.

With the number of cases of Covid-19 increasing, and highly likely to continue to do so, we are facing a difficult time ahead. It remains crucially important that we do all we can to stay healthy. Health care systems around the world are coming under greater and greater pressure and as the number of infections increase, it is inevitable that their ability to cope with their "normal" load lessens. Remember the basic tenets of hand washing, social distancing and isolating.

Stay healthy.

Anna Marsden

Director's message - 17 March

Dear Students, Parents and Guardians,

This afternoon our Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, announced that all schools from primary to Form 6 (equivalent to D2) are to close for thirty days with immediate effect in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infections in the country.

In response to this instruction, we have closed our campuses and will move our school onto an online platform. Many students are making their way home as we speak and more will travel over the next few days. Tomorrow teaching staff will be working to finalise plans for our online platform. With one and a half weeks left of the quarter, we will ensure all remaining work for this quarter will be posted. Quarter four was due to start on 15th April and this will now be postponed until 17th April in accordance with the government directive.

As residential students finalise their travel plans, please ensure you inform Chris Green (Arusha), chrisgreen@uwcea.org, or Ian Horne (Moshi), ianhorne@uwcea.org, of the details. In the event that some students genuinely cannot travel (and we anticipate these will be few), they need to let their Head of Residence know. Yesterday I stated that it is unlikely that we will keep boarding houses open on both campuses and this remains the case. In addition, we are already looking at restrictions in movement and we are quickly moving to a position where students will be confined to campus.

To our students, thank you for behaving so responsibly and thoughtfully. We are all aware how strange it is with the quarter finishing in such an abrupt manner. Working online may be new to some of you, and I ask that you approach this online studying in the same way you have been working hard at school. This might be different, but it is no less valid. Do not be afraid to reach out to your parents, your teachers and each other. You are not alone.

I will write again tomorrow.

Stay healthy.

Anna Marsden

Posters, Reading & other Resources

To help you keep relaxed and healthy, our counselors have put together a list of resources you can use: UWCEA Counselor Resources for Families.

Please feel free to use these posters to inform members of your community.

Covid-19 posters (Swahili)

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