Chato – President John Magufuli has ruled out the possibility of locking down commercial hub, Dar es Salaam, because of the growing threat of the novel coronavirus in Tanzania.
Magufuli made this pronouncement while addressing a joint meeting of heads of defence and security in his home town Chato.
“Dar re Salaam is the only centre where we collect almost 80 per cent of the country’s revenue, we can continue taking all measures to curb the virus but not locking down Dar es Salaam,” President Magufuli said.
Magufuli’s ruling follows an earlier announcement by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa who confirmed Tanzania’s COVID-19 cases had risen to 284 after 30 more people tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Speaking during a national prayer at Karimje Grounds in Dar es Salaam, Premier Majaliwa said that of out of the 284 Covid-19 cases recorded in Tanzania, 11 had healed and were discharged. He also revealed that 10 patients had succumbed to the virus while the others were still under treatment in designated hospitals with seven under special care.
However, in trying to keep hope alive, President Magufuli, said almost 100 people had recovered from COVID-19 in Tanzania, even when they had not been declared officially.
He urged Tanzanians to “preach positive messages about the pandemic” adding that, “it is not true that everyone who dies” it is because of the coronavirus.
The President also questioned the rationale of keeping people in quarantine for a very long period, even when they have been confirmed negative.
He welcomed the gesture from financial institutions such as the World Bank to allow economies that have been hit by the coronavirus to borrow money. However, he was rather skeptical on how this was going to solve problems in these countries.
“Instead of giving us the offer to borrow more money, the world bank should waive some of the loans even by certain percentages,” he said.
He called upon other African countries to join hands in asking the international financial institutions to waive such debts.