NAIROBI, Kenya—Tanzania’s president is lastly acknowledging that his nation has a coronavirus downside after claiming for months that the illness had been defeated by prayer.
Populist President John Magufuli on Feb. 21 urged residents of the East African nation to take precautions and even put on face masks—however solely regionally made ones. Over the course of the pandemic, he has expressed wariness about foreign-made items, together with COVID-19 vaccines.
The president’s feedback got here days after the nation of some 60 million folks mourned the demise of one in all its highest-profile politicians, the vp of the semi-autonomous island area of Zanzibar, whose political celebration had earlier mentioned he had COVID-19. The president’s chief secretary additionally died in latest days, although the trigger was not revealed.
Magufuli, talking on the chief secretary’s funeral in a nationally televised broadcast on Feb. 19, urged the nation to take part in three days of prayer for unspecified “respiratory” diseases that had develop into a problem within the nation.
Tanzania has not up to date its variety of coronavirus infections since April because the president has insisted COVID-19 had been defeated. Tanzania’s official variety of coronavirus infections stays at simply 509, however residents report that many individuals have develop into ailing with respiratory difficulties and hospitals have seen an increase in sufferers for “pneumonia.”
The director-general of the World Well being Group, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has added his voice to rising requires Tanzania to acknowledge COVID-19 for the nice of its residents, neighboring international locations, and the world, particularly after plenty of international locations reported that guests arriving from Tanzania examined optimistic for the virus.
Tedros in an announcement on Feb. 20 known as Tanzania’s scenario “very regarding” and urged Magufuli’s authorities to take “strong motion.” Others just lately expressing concern embrace america and the native Catholic church.