​​​​​​​DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania

Tanzania has registered 29 new COVID-19 deaths and 176 cases in the past 24 hours, the government announced Friday.

The total number of cases rose to 858.

Dorothy Gwajima, Tanzania’s health minister, warned that more people are getting infected.

“Let me state clearly, COVID-19 exists and people are dying, let’s take all necessary precautions,” the minister told a news conference.

The minister said despite numerous public health measures taken to quell the spread of the deadly virus, citizens do not realize the gravity of the situation and neglect wearing a face mask and maintaining social distancing.

This is the second time the government disclosed COVID-19 data since June 28 when President Samia Suluhu Hassan revealed 100 people had contracted the deadly virus.

Meanwhile, the second largest referral hospital in northern Tanzania is overwhelmed with patients with breathing problems, who require medical oxygen.

Executive director of Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre Gilleard Masenga told reporters that COVID-19 patients are requiring more medical oxygen gas per day.

“A patient uses 8 to 10 gas cylinders daily, this is a very serious problem,” he said.

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