Tanzanian president John Pombe Magufuli has seemingly changed tune after continuously downplaying the existence of COVID-19 in his country.
The head of state acknowledged the existence of the disease urging members of the public to take the virus’ preventive measures including wearing facemasks.
Speaking on Sunday, February 21, Magufuli said the government had not prevented people from wearing masks. He, however said that his call was for fellow countrymen to consider wearing masks manufactured locally.
“I have not said people should not wear facemasks, don’t misquote me. However, some facemasks are substandard, if you have to wear them, please consider those locally made. Most people who have been affected are in urban areas. We will defeat this virus by faith,” he said.
Africa Tembelea has also learnt that a few hours after the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) leader called on Tanzanians to take precaution against the novel coronavirus, the East African Country’s Health ministry is now boldly admitting that the pandemic exists.
“As said by the president, we won last year and the economy continued to grow until we achieved the middle economy status and Corona still existed. We did not set lockdowns, and even now, we will not impose lockdowns because God is on our side…,” reads the statement issued on Sunday, February 21, 2021 by the Health Ministry’s Public Relations Unit head, Gerard Chami.
According to Chami, the ministry encourages Tanzanians to use locally manufactured facemasks, hand wash, use sanitizers, exercise, and protect all those at risk such as the elderly, obese people, and those with chronic illnesses.
The health ministry PRO also called on fellow country men and women to consider getting proper nutrition including fruits and vegetables, use natural remedies registered by the council of traditional healers as advised by relevant professionals and visit health facilities as soon as symptoms of illness are seen or felt.
“It is important for everyone to have a routine of checking their health and continuing to take precautions based on the principles of a healthy lifestyle in order to eliminate health risks that weaken the immune system. Each of us should feel responsible for preventing and controlling non-communicable and communicable diseases,” said Chami.
In a related development, the World Health Organization (WHO) renewed its call for Tanzania to start reporting its daily coronavirus cases. In a statement dated Saturday, February 20, WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom asked the country to also scale up public health measures against the deadly virus and prepare for vaccination.
“I renew my call for Tanzania to start reporting COVID-19 cases and share data. I also call on Tanzania to implement the public health measures that we know work in breaking the chains of transmission and to prepare for vaccination,” said Dr. Tedros.