By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Tanzania: Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli on Sunday directed the public to continue observing preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic as directed by health experts, including wearing face masks, social distancing and washing hands.
Magufuli made the remarks while speaking the Sunday church prayers he attended in the capital Dodoma saying the government has not prevented people from wearing masks as one of the preventive steps against the deadly disease.
Another statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communications at State House said the president encouraged the use of locally made face masks.
Meanwhile, Tanzania’s Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, released a statement also urging people to continue taking precautions against the deadly disease.
The statement issued by the ministry’s head of public relations unit, Gerard Chami, a few hours after President Magufuli urged people to wear face masks, said the ministry was continuing to monitor the situation.
The turnaround comes three days after the death of Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, the first vice president of Tanzania’s semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar. He succumbed to the coronavirus.
Magufuli declared the East African nation free of Covid-19 while shunning lockdowns, discouraging face masks and banning the release of virus data since April.
However, a number of Tanzanians travelling to neighbouring countries and beyond have tested positive for COVID-19. This underscores the need for Tanzania to take robust action both to safeguard their own people and protect populations in these countries and beyond.
A few weeks ago, Tanzania rejected the supply of Covid-19 Vaccines in the county saying they don’t need them because the country is free from the virus.