Magufuli to reopen schools, stop quarantine for tourists; says Covid-19 cases reducing drastically


Magufuli to reopen schools, stop quarantine for tourists; says Covid-19 cases reducing drastically
Tanzania's President John Pombe Magufuli during a past address. PHOTO | COURTESY

Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli says he will reopen schools and allow sporting activities to resume in the next one week, claiming that Covid-19 infections in the country have greatly reduced.

Addressing a Sunday service, Magufuli read out a list of quarantine and isolation facilities where most of the patients had been discharged, noting that God had ‘answered Tanzania’s prayers.’

Some of the hospitals he cited included Amana in Dar es Salaam which he said had 198 patients and is now only left with 12 only.

He stated that Mloganzira which had 30 patients currently has only six cases, adding that Luranzi centre in Kibaa had discharged 28 patients of out of the 50 it had admitted.

“Kama wiki hii tunayoianza kesho itaendelea hivi, nimepanga kufungua vyuo ili wanafunzi wetu waendelee. Lakini nimepanga pia sisi kama taifa kuruhusu michezo iendelee kwa sababu michezo ni sehemu moja ya burudani kwa watanzania,” said Magufuli.

He went further to announce that a number of airlines in the country had made full bookings until August for tourists waiting to travel to Tanzania, adding that he had instructed his Ministers to allow the flights into the country.

Magufuli said the visitors will not be placed under mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Tanzania but will only undergo temperature tests then be cleared to tour the country.

“Kuna mashirika ya ndege wameshabook watalii mpaka mwezi wa nane. Ndege zimejaa kwa ajili ya kuja Tanzania kuanza kutalii… Wanakuja kwa sababu wanaujua ukweli wanakuja kwa sababu Tanzania ni pazuri.

“Mimi nimeshatoa maagizo kwa mawaziri wa Mali Asili na Uchukuzi waruhusu hizo ndege ziingie na wala hawataekwa kwenye karantini. Wakishapimwa temperature ipatikane iko sawa, waende wakaangalie wanyama huko,” he said.

During the church service, Magufuli vowed not to place the country on lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus, saying such a move would be disastrous to the economy.

He encouraged Tanzanians to continue working hard to improve the economy, saying that his country would be there to help countries that would be suffering as a result of the lock-down they imposed on their people during the pandemic.

Magufuli said Tanzania has previously witnessed and dealt with other types of viruses, therefore would not be intimidated by the coronavirus.

“…hatuwezi kubali corona itawale, Mungu wetu atatawala… Tumekua na magonjwa kama ukimwi… lakini hatujakubali yatutawale.  Tukifanya uchumi wetu ukalale hata mishahara hatutalipa, hata sadaka hatutapata,” Magufuli said.

The US embassy in Tanzania last week raised concern over the rising and unreported Covid-19 cases in the country.

A health alert issued on May 13, 2020 said the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Dar es Salaam, a major city and commercial port, is extremely high.

“Despite limited official reports, all evidence points to exponential growth of the epidemic in Dar and other locations in Tanzania,” the statement read.

According to the American embassy, the Tanzanian government has not released any data on COVID since April 29, so there is no current data on the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the country.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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