U-Turn in Tanzania: New President seeks advice on Covid-19

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

President Suluhu said that she is goung to form a committe of experts who will be advising her on Covid-19

Tanzania’s new President Samia Suluhu Hassan has made a U-turn on his country’s stand on Covid-19 by promising that she is going to form a committee which will advise her on how to curb coronavirus.

The move comes after less than a month of take over from the late President John Pombe Magufuli who died last month. Magufuli’s government had been skeptic  Covid-19 and defied any measures to fight the deadly virus.

According to the Citizen Tanzania, President Suluhu said that she is going to form a committee of  experts  who will look into Covid-19 matters professionally.

“On the issue of Covid-19, I think I should form a Committee of experts to look at it professionally and then advise the Government, it should not be silenced or rejected or accepted without professional research,” she was quoted as saying.

Suluhu went on to say that Tanzania could not  isolate itself  “as if we are an Island’. He however she added that her country cannot accept everything.

“We cannot continue just reading about Covid 19 Worldwide, yet Tanzania is all blank, it is incomprehensible” she added.

Since April 2020, Tanzania has stopped to share its daily cases of COVID-19. President John Magufuli had  been quoted saying that only God will protect Tanzanians from the  virus.

The East African country did not take robust measures as other countries, to curb the spread of the virus. Since early 2021, Tanzania has got attention of international community and non-governmental organizations.

In the course of one month since February 2021, Tanzania has lost about ten high rank officials mysteriously including Chief Secretary in Tanzanian government, John Kijazi who died in mid February, and Zanzibar vice president Seif Sherif Hamad  who died of Covid-19.

The  Secretary  General of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), father Charles Kitima in February he said that government should take measures because Covid-19 is there.

Kitima said that in January and February,  Tanzanian Catholic Church lost more than 25 priests  and more than 60 nuns due to breathing complications.

“It did not happen before. Normally during the course of two months we have been losing two or three priests due to old age or other illness”, Kitima said.

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