Tanzanian President John Magufuli, the only African leader to claim there’s no Covid-19 in his country, publicly cautioned the Health Ministry against vaccines and said it shouldn’t rush into any experiments.
“We should be very careful,” Magufuli said in a speech from his rural home in Chato, near Lake Victoria, broadcast on state TV. “Not everything we receive from outside is in our best interest.”
Tanzania stopped publishing coronavirus data in April last year and is now one of a few countries in the world that doesn’t publish any information on the outbreak. Authorities actively discourage the use of face masks, saying the country is free of the disease.
‘Pray to God’
While that’s helped boost tourist arrivals to the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar during the festive season, the leader of the main opposition Chadema party, Freeman Mbowe, has described the administration’s silence as “stupidity.”
Magufuli said some citizens had traveled to other countries to receive shots but had returned with a “strange virus.”
“We will continue to take the necessary health precautions, including steam therapy, while we pray to our God,” he said, referring to one of the preventative measures Tanzanians have been using to ward off the disease.