COVID-19 and its Impact on Trade and Transport Sectors in Tanzania

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Katera, Lucas
Msafiri, Derick
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African Economic Research Consortium
Towards the end of 2019, Chinese authorities announced the outbreak of mystery pneumonia cases in one of its biggest cities, Wuhan. Initially, the disease was referred to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and later it was named Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). By September 2020, the disease had spread to more than 200 countries and territories (Africa CDC, 2020), infecting 28 million people globally. Africa had the lowest incidence, 5% of the caseload, which is about 1.3 million COVID-19 cases and 29,833 deaths as reported in 55 African countries (Africa CDC, 2020; Mbuvha & Marwala, 2020). The pandemic has, not only claimed lives, but also affected negatively economic activities and increased burden to the health sector beyond capacity. In the sub-Saharan Africa region, the situation seems serious than in other parts of the world, perhaps due to its weak capacity to deal with disasters. The World Bank has projected that the region will suffer its first recession in 25 years with GDP shrinking by as much as 5.1% due to the disease (World Bank, 2020). This is in addition of potential loss of 20 million jobs (African Union, 2020). Within the continent, regions have been affected differently, but also within regions countries have been affected differently. It is, therefore, important to undertake location-specific studies to understand the impact extent of the pandemic within a location. Hence, this brief focuses specifically on Tanzania.