Tanzania’s strategy in combating COVID-19 pandemic is one that has raised eyebrows across the continent and the world at large. Its government stopped updating the public the coronavirus situation after notoriously religious President John Pombe Magufuli, expressed strong doubts about the seriousness of the virus. Instead, he asked Tanzanians to seek divine intervention from churches and mosques to combat the virus, while going about their normal day to day businesses.
Before quitting on reporting the number of coronavirus cases, the country as at 29th April had recorded 21 deaths and over 500 deaths, a trajectory that was worrisome. Even after the US embassy in Tanzania issued a health alert to its residents with all the all evidence pointing to the exponential growth of the epidemic in Dar and other locations in the country, President Magufuli stood his ground.
President Magufuli has now declared that the country is “coronavirus-free” thanks to prayers by citizens. According to BBC, Magufuli told worshippers in a church that COVID-19 has been eliminated thanks to God. The news was welcomed with joy and excitement.
“I want to thank Tanzanians of all faiths. We have been praying and fasting for God to save us from the pandemic that has afflicted our country and the world. But God has answered us. I believe, and I’m certain that many Tanzanians believe, that the corona disease has been eliminated by God,” he told worshippers.
He noted that his Health ministry had informed him that the country had only four patients but rumours would have it otherwise. Magufuli urged Tanzanians to be careful not to accept donations of maks as they could transmit the virus.