Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli allowed churches to continue operating, arguing that the coronavirus would not survive in a church or mosque. File picture: AP
Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli allowed churches to continue operating, arguing that the coronavirus would not survive in a church or mosque. File picture: AP

Tanzania records 196 new Covid-19 cases in one day after refusing physical distancing

By Thembelihle Mkhonza Time of article published Apr 29, 2020

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Johannesburg – The number of Covid-19 cases in Tanzania jumped to 480 on Wednesday after 196 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Pulse Live Kenya reported.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said Tanzania had also recorded six more deaths, bringing the number of deaths to 16 since the virus was first recorded in the East African country.

The development saw Tanzania overtaking Kenya, which had 374 confirmed cases as of Tuesday. Rwanda has 207 cases, while Uganda has 79 confirmed cases, with 14 of them being Kenyan and Tanzanian truck drivers.

According to the publication, Tanzania has been criticised for its lax measures against Covid-19 after its president, John Pombe Magufuli, allowed churches to continue operating, arguing that the coronavirus would not survive in a church or mosque.

Uganda, which has implemented a total lockdown, has seen fewer cases recorded in the country compared to its neighbours.

According to The Citizen, Majaliwa also announced that the number of those who have recovered from Covid-19 stands at 167 from 48. Of those who recovered, 36 are from Zanzibar and 83 are from Mainland Tanzania. 

The situation in Tanzania is feared to be getting out of hand because of the lack of physical distancing and the slow distribution of information on the disease.

On Wednesday, Pulse Live Kenya counted at least 10 deaths of prominent Tanzanian personalities in the past 70 hours.

The deaths were reported as being attributed to other causes despite some of the victims showing symptoms of the coronavirus.

Tanzanian civil society activists have accused the country's authorities of covering up some of the Covid-19 deaths in order to protect Magufuli's controversial decision to refuse to order physical distancing measures.

Majaliwa urged citizens to stop disseminating false information on the deaths because not every death has to be related to Covid-19, according to The Citizen.

African News Agency (ANA)

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