The President of the United Republic of Tanzania John Pombe Magufuli is in the limelight again after his sentiments regarding fumigation exercises of towns, cities, markets that have been witnessed in various countries around the globe to combat Coronavirus.
President John Pombe Magufuli has banned fumigation of Dar es Salaam and other cities and towns in entire Tanzania. He has however termed fumigation exercise that is seen by many as a method of containing the novel Coronavirus as an exercise that is only effective in killing mosquitoes and cockroaches and not Coronavirus
While addressing residents at Chato area in Geita region, northwestern Tanzania, on Wednesday, 22nd April, Dr. Magufuli asserted that there is no proof that carrying fumigation exercises in specific areas prevents it against Coronavirus.
“if that was the case, then developed countries that have been fumigating cities day in, day out, could have already been rid of the novel coronavirus, completely”.
“There is no amount of fumigation that kills coronavirus!” Magufuli said in a statement aired on Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC).
“The so-called fumigation that was done in Dar es Salaam is stupidity. You can’t kill coronavirus using chlorine. Such an exercise only eliminates mosquitoes and cockroaches. From today (Wednesday, April 22), I order that the Ministry of Health stops all fumigation exercises in Tanzania. Unless we are ridding cities of mosquitoes and cockroaches, I do not want to see any fumigation taking place,” The Chemistry PhD graduate, president Magufuli added.
The president also said in his public address that he will only accept face masks from foreign countries after the Tanzania Ministry of Health has ascertained that they “are not laced with coronavirus.
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“We must interrogate who manufactured the face masks, who is donating them to us, and what is the motivation of their generosity. We shouldn’t always trust anything donated to us by foreigners. We could be catching coronavirus from the masks donated to us,”. Magufuli said.
Magufuli also urges Tanzania Ministry of Health to communicate more so on recovered Coronavirus patients rather than concentrating just on the negative aspect of it.
“I understand that close to 100 people have recovered from the disease in Tanzania. I am yet to get the official figures though. Out of the 284 confirmed cases in Tanzania, only ten have died. Why should we be treating coronavirus like it is a death sentence? We should also focus on highlighting the positive aspects of our healthcare system, people are recovering from this contagion and that needs to be highlighted,” He said
Maguful vowed not to introduce lockdown in Dar es Salaam despite pressure from all corners
“I won’t shut Dar es Salaam over coronavirus crisis, never!” he said emphatically.
“If you do not know, Dar es Salaam generates 80 percent of Tanzania’s gross domestic product. So, you want me to order vehicles to stop transporting rice and potatoes to the city? You want me to direct all women selling fabric materials to close shop and go home? I won’t lock down Dar es Salaam, never,” he said.
He also urged The World Bank and other notable international lenders to write off debts of specific countries currently struggling with COVID-19
“Every month, Tanzania pays its creditors Tsh700 billion (Ksh32.4 billion) in loan settlements. Out of that money, about Tsh200 billion (Ksh9.3 billion) or Tsh300 billion (Ksh13.9 billion) goes to the World Bank. I now urge the lenders that instead of creating newer loan facilities for developing nations in the name of helping them fight coronavirus crisis, why don’t they write off certain debts owed to them by these countries? If that is not possible, why can’t the World Bank offer debt relief by saying that they have waived a certain percentage of these countries’ debt burdens?” He said
Currently, Tanzania has so far confirmed a total of 484 Coronavirus cases, with 11 recoveries and 10 deaths.