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For months, the president of Tanzania, John Magufuli, has persistently denied the presence of the coronavirus in his country, claiming that the epidemic has been defeated by prayer. Then on Sunday he was forced to admit that there are still people infected in the country.
In his speech on Sunday, he called on his people to be careful, and even asked them to wear a health mask, but only a home-made trip. Magufuli has warned Tanzanians against foreign products, including coronavirus vaccinations, since the outbreak began.
His persistent denial became untenable this week after one of the country’s top politicians, the vice-president of the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar, also died in the covid. As was Magufuli’s first secretary, although in his case it was not officially confirmed that he died in covid.
Tanzania, with a population of 60 million, has not reported epidemiological data since April last year, although residents regularly report that many are suffering from some form of respiratory disease, and hospitals report an increase in cases of pneumonia. Tedros Adhanom Gebreesus, Secretary-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), called the situation in Tanzania very worrying on Saturday and called on the Magufuli government to take immediate action. (MTI)
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