May 17, 2020

COVID-19: Tanzania’s Magufuli Says Some Countries Closing Borders out of “Misinformation”

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Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli

Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has this Sunday issued more bombshell announcements at a church service – the latest place for his addresses – some of which are causing shivers across the region and globally.

Magufuli speaking at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania at his Chato hometown on Sunday, said tourists had fully booked flights up to August, and that they will be allowed into the country without being quarantined. He did not say exactly which airlines would fly.

Some countries, which he did not name, had rushed to close borders due to the “misinformation” spreading from everywhere, according to Magufuli, adding that schools like colleges and universities would be opened soon.

Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli also revealed that one of his two children who had contracted the novel Coronavirus is now healthy and doing push ups.

President Magufuli said that the child, whom he did not name, was locked up in their room using homemade remedies like lemonade and Ginger to treat the condition and now they are back on their feet.

“Nina mtoto wangu alipata Corona, mtoto wa kuzaa mimi, amejifungia kwenye chumba akaanza kujitibu, akanywa malimau na tangawizi, amepona yuko mzima sasa anapiga push up,” said President Magufuli during a church service in Swahili.

Magufuli said the number of Covid-19 cases in the country has dropped to low levels so much so that he was considering to reopen colleges if the situation remains unchanged until next week.

“The figures in my hand show that at Amana Hospital, the number of Covid-19 patients had gone down from 198 to only 12,” he said.

The Muhimbili National Hospital used to accommodate 30 inpatients at its Mloganzila Hospital Centre but the number has since gone down to only six.

At Kibaha, said President Magufuli, there is a centre called Lulanzi. At the pick of the pandemic, there were over 50 inpatients at Lulanzi but as of May 17, the number has gone down to only 22.

“And these 22 are in very stable conditions. They are just like us but that they still test positive,” he said.

The number of Covid-19 patients has gone down across all the major private hospitals.

The names of hospitals and number of patients as stated by President Magufuli include: Aga Khan Hospital (31), Hindu Mandal (16), Regency (17), TMJ (7), Rabinsia (14).

“So you can see the trend of how the Lord, our God, has responded to our prayers,” President Magufuli.

He said in Arusha, the government had set aside three centres which currently had a total of 11 inpatients only.

In Mwanza, there were a total of 10 centres which had a total of six inpatients only as of Sunday, May 17, 2020.

“Out of them, it is only two who are admitted at Sekou Toure and Bugando hospitals that need special care because they also have other ailments,” said President Magufuli.

Dodoma has a total of four centres. During the pick of the pandemic, there were a total of 40 inpatients across the centres but all – except two – have been treated and allowed to rejoin their relatives back home.

“The remaining two require intensive case because apart from Covid-19, they also have other ailments,” he said.

On April 17, President John Magufuli declared a three-day national prayers period to help combat the Covid-19.

He asked every faithful to pray for the country to overcome Covid-19 pandemic.

He has also previously dismissed Coronavirus test kits used in Tanzania as faulty alleging that they had returned positive results on samples taken from sheep, pawpaw, vehicle oil and goat.

Meanwhile, regionally, Rwanda announced on Saturday in a statement that it had reached agreement with Tanzania on what to do with truck drivers, who according to Kigali ha caused upsurge of infections 3 weeks ago.

At first, Rwanda had been demanding that the trucks stop at Rusumo border, and hand over to Rwandan drivers. However, the decision caused unease in Tanzania, and Rwandan trucks were blocked from traveling inside Tanzania.

Rwanda now gets more than 90% of its imports via Tanzania, making it a lifeline for Rwanda.

Talks resolved that Tanzania trucks will deliver the cargo at Rusumo border, where they will be offloaded onto Rwandan trucks. Only trucks carrying perishable goods and petroleum would be let through, but with escorts and there would be specific stops.

Rwanda is also transit for millions of dollars of imports heading to eastern DR Congo.

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