Is there any specific law for Covid-19? If a person who has contacted a Covid patient goes to the public without wearing a face mask or he shakes hands with others and infects them, can that conduct amounts to any crime known under our laws? I know of a fellow employee who knew he was positive yet kept on coming to the office.
There is no specific legislation addressing the covid pandemic in Tanzania. However, the Public Health Act, 2009 creates the offence of careless or deliberate exposing others to the risk of contracting infectious or notifiable disease. In view of section 16 of the Public Health Act, any person who knows or has reasons to suspect that she or he is infected with a notifiable or infectious disease likely to expose others to the risk of infection, goes to the street, public place, public transport, vehicle, place of entertainment, assembly, club, hotel, restaurant, shop, premise or other places or conducts himself in a manner that exposes others to the risk of infection commits an offence.
Other conducts that constitute an offence under section 16 are (i) attending a patient suffering from notifiable or infectious disease in a manner that exposes others to the risk of being infected by the patient (ii) lending or giving or exposing another to the clothing, bedding or articles used by a person who is suffering from notifiable or infectious disease without prior disinfection, and (iii) leasing or renting premises where there is a patient or there has been a case of infectious or notifiable diseases without prior disinfection.
Covid would fall under the list of international notifiable diseases and the punishment for the offence under section 16 is a fine not exceeding TZS 1 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months.