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After deaths, WHO urges Tanzania to share COVID data, take action

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appeals to authorities to take measures towards the pandemic and to put together for vaccinations.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged Tanzania’s authorities to take “robust action” towards the coronavirus pandemic amid growing warnings that the nation is witnessing a lethal resurgence in infections.

President John Magufuli has lengthy performed down the virus, repeatedly claiming that Tanzania defeated COVID-19 with God’s assist and refusing to take robust measures to curb its unfold.

But a latest spate of deaths attributed to pneumonia has struck each members of the general public and authorities officers. On Friday, after months of denial, Magufuli appeared to admit the coronavirus was circulating in Tanzania, a rustic of some 60 million folks.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned plenty of Tanzanians travelling to neighbouring nations and past have examined optimistic for the coronavirus.

“This underscores the need for Tanzania to take robust action both to safeguard their own people and protect populations in these countries and beyond,” he mentioned in an announcement on Saturday.

Tedros mentioned he had urged Tanzania in late January to take measures towards the pandemic and to put together for vaccinations.

“Since then I’ve spoken with a number of authorities in Tanzania however WHO is but to obtain any info concerning what measures Tanzania is taking to reply to the pandemic.

“This scenario stays very regarding. I renew my name for Tanzania to begin reporting COVID-19 instances and share knowledge.

“I also call on Tanzania to implement the public health measures that we know work in breaking the chains of transmission, and to prepare for vaccination.”

‘Let’s watch out’

The nation final gave case figures in April 2020, reporting 509 infections.

At the identical time, Magufuli revealed he had secretly had a wide range of objects examined for the virus – of which a papaya, quail and a goat apparently examined optimistic. He has additionally questioned COVID-19 vaccines with out providing proof.

On Wednesday, the vp of semi-autonomous Zanzibar, Seif Sharif Hamad, died after his opposition celebration admitted he had contracted coronavirus.

The head of the civil service, John Kijazi, additionally died on Wednesday.

The reason for loss of life has not been revealed. But Magufuli introduced up COVID-19 at his funeral.

“When this respiratory disease erupted last year, we won because we put God first and took other measures. I’m sure we will win again if we do so this time around,” he mentioned.

However, dissent is mounting inside the nation to the federal government’s place on the pandemic.

On Saturday, the Tanzania Law Society turned the primary skilled physique to name on the federal government to overtly recognise the virus and take ample measures.

On Sunday, Magufuli revealed that a few of his aides and members of the family had contracted COVID-19 however recovered, and provided some lukewarm assist for using masks.

“The government has not banned use of masks but some of these are not safe at all … let’s be careful,” he mentioned after a service in a Dar-es-Salaam church.

“Let us all depend on God as we also take other preventive measures. I put God first and that is why I do not wear a mask.”

The well being ministry in an announcement on Sunday known as on residents to “continue to believe in God” and in addition respect preventive measures, together with mask-wearing.

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Updated on February 28, 2021 2:58 am

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