Tanzania govt summons US envoy over COVID-19 false alerts

Tanzania’s case count has been at 509 for weeks now. No new data have been released and government has dismissed a health alert by the US embassy about overwhelmed hospitals in the largest city, Dar es Salaam.

The Tanzanian government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this week summoned the acting US ambassador over recent advisories relating to COVID-19.Government said the information was untrue and could have triggered distress among Tanzanians and foreigners. Ibuge also stressed that ambassadors were free to demand factual and official information before putting same out in the public.

Ambassador Inmi Patterson was summoned to the Ministry where she was engaged by Permanent Secretary Colonel Wilbert Ibuge, a statement posted on the Ministry’s Twitter page disclosed.

During an address to a church congregation over the weekend, President Magufuli echoed the God factor in battling the virus which he said was being defeated by the country. “There is not going to be any such thing as lockdown in Tanzania, God will help us. We need to work hard, once the other East Africans are done with their lockdown, they will come to us, and we shall still help them with food, we will not against discriminate them.”

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Tanzania President

Dar RC declares victory over virus “Hotel owners, barbers, companies and businesses are all back to work. By Sunday, everyone should be happy … our God has won (the virus fight) for us. Turn on your music, that day I have given you freedom,” these are the words of Paul Makonda, regional commissioner of Dar es Salaam. His pronouncement is the latest in the Tanzania government’s posture towards a virus that has led to the imposition of lockdowns and enforcement of physical distancing in most African countries.

Kenya has closed its side of the border due to virus spread. Zambia also recently shut a common border with Tanzania. The town of Nakonde remains Zambia’s most infected area having recorded much more cases that the capital Lusaka.

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