Dar es Salaam – Tanzania’s confirmed COVID-19 cases have, on Friday, April 17, surged to 147 with another fatality registered but President John Magufuli still maintains his soft stand against locking down the country and closing places of worship.
Tanzania’s Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu confirmed the cases and acknowledged that one patient had succumbed to the pandemic.
However, she said that four out of the total number of patients were in critical condition due to other medical conditions they were facing.
This pushed the death toll to five since the country reported its first case on March 16.
As most of the world went into lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus, Tanzania’s president took a different tack: encouraging people to go pray in churches and mosques to quell a “satanic” virus that can only be cured by divine intervention.
While addressing a church gathering on Sunday, April 12, President John Magufuli said he wouldn’t at any point close the churches, mosques or enforce social distancing in worshipping places because people need to keep worshipping God freely ‘we must continue gathering to keep praying for the nation’, he said.
He further said locking down the country would cause suffering to other countries like Zambia, Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Malawi that depend on Dar es Salaam port.
“How will they access fuel in this difficult time?. How will their ambulances operate and move the sick?” He insisted.
However, For the past weeks, the East African nation’s populist leader, John Magufuli, has been attending church services, telling cheering congregations that coronavirus cannot survive in the bodies of the faithful. In recent days, churches and mosques have swelled with worshipers…