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Tanzanian Government Declares Country Free of COVID-19.

Tanzanian Government Declares Country Free of COVID-19

While WHO 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'.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli recently declared that the country is now free of the coronavirus, according to reports by the BBC. The move is yet another controversial one in what the World Health Organisation (WHO) has since described as a "concerning" response by the government to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his announcement, President Magufuli said, "I want to thank Tanzanians of all faiths." He went on to add, "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."

However, major opposition parties have condemned the ruling government and accused it of being "reckless" with the lives of citizens. Zitto Kabwe, leader of the Alliance for Change and Transparency, says, "The government say 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."

For close to a month, authorities have not provided updated statistics of coronavirus spread in the country despite requests for the data by WHO. This is in stark contrast to other African countries such as South Africa and Nigeria which have consistently released new COVID-19 figures daily. As of April 29th, there were reportedly 480 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Tanzania with 16 deaths. Not much else is known beyond that date.

Additionally, Tanzania is one of the few African countries which ordered a large consignment of Madagascar's COVID-Organics herbal tonic which has been touted as a "cure". The tonic has however not undergone any proper scientific testing.

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