Tanzanian president claims ‘country free of COVID-19’

While the World Health Organisation has expressed concern over Tanzania’s overall COVID-19 response, President John Magufuli says the country is now free from the pandemic due to ‘citizens’ prayers’.

“The corona disease has been eliminated thanks to God,” Tanzanian President told worshippers in a church in the capital, Dodoma.

President John Magufuli attributed the claimed success over the worldwide pandemic to prayers and fasting that the people of Tanzania have offered to God.

Tanzanians on social media up-lauded their president for “defeating COVID-19,” saying that this will open up the economy, leading to more jobs and business opportunities for the country.

But, major opposition parties have condemned the ruling government and accused it of being “reckless” with the lives of citizens.

Leader of the Alliance for Change and Transparency – Zitto Kabwe, said

“The government says there are no patients in the hospitals but we know of three hospitals in Dar es Salaam where the ICU beds are all completely full.”

The government has stopped publishing data on the number of Covid-19 cases in the country. The last day when official data was released, was on the 29th of April, where there were 509 cases, with 21 deaths in the country.

The US Embassy in Tanzania has warned that the risk of contracting the disease in Dar es Salaam, a major city and commercial port, and other regions are extremely high because it has not released COVID-19 data in several weeks.

Tanzanian president is among a few African pioneers who have gotten orders for a herbal tonic touted by the leader of Madagascar as a remedy for Covid-19. However, President Magufuli has more than once said the health crisis has been exaggerated and asked individuals to attend services in churches and mosques, saying that prayers “can vanquish” the Virus.