‘God has re­moved coron­avirus’

Pres­i­dent claims coun­try is virus-free af­ter cit­i­zens prayed for three days ‘They said bod­ies will be ly­ing on streets in Africa. But they did not know God loves Tan­za­nia.’

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIO­NAL -

TAN­ZA­NIA’S PRES­I­DENT is again claim­ing the coun­try is free of the coron­avirus be­cause of the power of prayer – six weeks af­ter his gov­ern­ment stopped pub­licly up­dat­ing virus data.

“Corona in our coun­try has been re­moved by the pow­ers of God,” Pres­i­dent John Magu­fuli de­clared at a church ser­vice on Sun­day. He praised the con­gre­ga­tion for not wear­ing face masks, amid cheers from the faith­ful. He has warned that masks not ap­proved by the gov­ern­ment could be in­fected with the virus.

Tan­za­nia’s num­ber of COVID19 cases has been stuck at 509 for six weeks as health of­fi­cials, op­po­si­tion fig­ures and some neigh­bour­ing coun­tries worry that cases in the East African na­tion con­tinue to climb. Op­po­si­tion fig­ures have es­ti­mated that cases could be in the tens of thou­sands.

While many African coun­tries have been praised for their re­sponse to the virus, Tan­za­nia’s Magu­fuli be­lieves the pan­demic has been greatly ex­ag­ger­ated and is be­ing used by un­named forces to sab­o­tage the econ­omy.

The pres­i­dent has ques­tioned, even fired, health of­fi­cials and re­fused to limit peo­ple’s move­ments, and he has claimed his son was healed of COVID-19 by drink­ing a mix­ture of ginger and lemon­ade.

FALSE CLAIMS

“When I came to power they said we have cases of the Zika virus and I fired the per­son who an­nounced that ... . Since I fired him five years ago, Tan­za­nia has not had cases of Zika,” Magu­fuli said at a teach­ers’ con­fer­ence Fri­day in the cap­i­tal, Dodoma.

“Then they said we have Ebola, know­ing that tourists will not come to a coun­try which has Ebola and peo­ple will not work here if there is Ebola,” he said, adding that no one had died of that virus.

“Now we have corona. They said bod­ies will be ly­ing on streets in Africa. But they did not know God loves Tan­za­nia,” Magu­fuli said. “We prayed for three days and the coron­avirus is fin­ished.”

He said only four peo­ple are sick with COVID-19 in the coun­try of nearly 60 mil­lion peo­ple.

The US Em­bassy last month re­leased a se­cu­rity alert as­sert­ing that hos­pi­tals in the com­mer­cial cap­i­tal, Dar es Salaam, were over­whelmed with virus pa­tients.

Op­po­si­tion politi­cian Zitto Kabwe later as­serted that Magu­fuli had de-con­gested hos­pi­tals in an ef­fort to show a low num­ber of in­fec­tions.

Pres­i­dent John Magu­fuli

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