President Suluhu moves to re-evaluate extent of COVID-19 in Tanzania

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Samia Suluhu Hassan -Tanzanian president; Courtesy Photo

Tanzania’s new President Samia Suluhu Hassan has said she intends to form a committee of experts to professionally evaluate the Covid-19 pandemic and advise the government on the way forward.

The newly sworn-in president on Tuesday said Tanzania needs to have a clear and understandable position on the pandemic so that it can make informed decisions.

“The country cannot continue to rely on external reports on the pandemic while it has none” She said.

“I think I should form a committee of experts to look at it professionally and then advise the government. It should not be silenced, rejected or accepted without professional research,” she stated.

Tanzania last released data on the pandemic last year in May, which showed that the country had only 509 cases. It’s former leader, the late John Pombe Magufuli, also declared the country “COVID-19 free” and resorted to local remedies like concoctions to boost the immune system and steam therapy.

Magufuli’s government also said Tanzania would not procure vaccines despite the insistence of the World Health Organization (WHO) that the vaccine was necessary in curbing the spread of the virus.

After Magufuli’s death, Samia Suluhu seems to be reconsidering the decisions taken by her predecessor.

“We cannot isolate ourselves as if we are an Island but also, we cannot accept everything brought to us; We need to examine how the rest of the world is responding.. Tanzania needs to have its own understanding of where we stand on the issue of Covid-19.” She said.

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