Covid-19: Magufuli rules out Tanzania lockdown

John Magufuli

Tanzanian President John Magufuli. 

Photo credit: Ericky Boniphace | AFP

Tanzanian president John Pombe Magufuli has remained adamant that he will not impose a lockdown even as suspected Covid-19 cases continue to surge in the country. Instead, he urged citizens to keep seeking divine intervention.

While addressing mourners on Friday during the burial of Ambassador John Kijazi at Karimjee Stadium, Dar es Salaam, the Head of State encouraged clerics to continue interceding for the nation to defeat the global pandemic.

“I am certain we will emerge conquerors. I want to encourage you Tanzanians, I urge religious leaders to encourage believers to continue in prayers we will overcome. We overcame last year to emerge a middle economy in the midst of coronavirus pandemic,” said Magufuli.

He argued the country had achieved economic milestones, flourishing in the midst of the deadly pandemic which had wreaked havoc globally last year reiterating that, that even in 2021, Tanzania would ultimately emerge unscathed.

“Our economy continued to grow despite Covid-19 being there, implementation of our projects went on and we did not shut-down and even now we will not impose lockdown because we know God is present all days,” he added.

President Magufuli's speech at funeral of Amb John Kijazi

His remarks come in the wake of circulating rumors regarding the health Minister for Finance Dr Philip Mpango, who is currently hospitalised in Dodoma.

Mr Magufuli however dismissed the claims and went on to read the Minister’s text message to confirm that he was very much alive and recuperating.

Moreover, he sought to reassure the East African nation, with a population of 60 million people, to maintain unity, put God first and avoid fear in the wake of increasing coronavirus infections.

He confirmed the disease was in the country, but was quick to point out that it did not start in Tanzania and that some countries had recorded very high fatality rates as compared to the country. 

Additional reporting by Mary W. Nyambura

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