Tanzania is coming under criticisms from the World Health Organization for its handling of current coronavirus pandemic.
The WHO is unhappy with the measures being rolled out and lack of transparency as the rate of infection continues to increase in the country.
Tanzania has not restricted movement of citizens but large public gatherings have been banned and schools and universities closed.
But markets remain open likewise churches and mosques as President John Magufuli claims the coronavirus cannot harm the bodies of worshippers.
“You haven’t seen me fearing to take communion, because corona[virus] is satanic and can’t survive in Jesus’ body. It will be destroyed,” Magufuli told worshippers in a church in the capital, Dodoma.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa told a virtual news conference that “We are observing countries taking an approach to responding at different speeds,” when asked how worried she is about the situation in Tanzania.
“Through our country team and working with technical partners on the ground, we are continuing to advise the government in order to have those policy decisions taken based on data that will enable the government to get on top of the situation,” she said.
Tanzania’s opposition and citizens in the diaspora have all joined in criticizing the government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
Daniel El-Noshokaty, the Resident Representative for Tanzania from the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), told DW that “I hope the government will change their mind. But since the president has ruled out a lockdown and since he’s not very well known for changing his mind, I don’t think that anything will change soon.”
There are fears the crisis can get worst in the country if health guidelines are not followed by citizens.
Tanzania has recorded 480 cases of COVID-19 and 16 deaths and there signals infections could go up in the coming days.
We continue to have an *exponential* growth of cases .. Today overtaking all countries in EA, with 480 total confirmed cases
Many reports of deaths in the community from “difficulty breathing” .. only 16 *official* deaths pic.twitter.com/eylWrLuZES
— Frank J. Minja MD (@frankminja) April 29, 2020