GITEGA, 5 February 2021 – Burundi has joined Tanzania, becoming the second African country to say they do not need COVID-19 vaccines, in the midst of a resurgence of the pandemic.

Prevention is more important and “since more than 95 percent of patients are recovering, we estimate that the vaccines are not yet necessary,” Burundi’s health minister, Thaddee Ndikumana, told reporters Thursday in the capital, Gitega.

Testing for COVID-19 in Burundi - AP Photo/Berthier Mugiraneza

Testing for COVID-19 in Burundi – AP Photo/Berthier Mugiraneza

Burundi closed its land and maritime borders last month in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

Burundi has confirmed 1,600 cases as of Thursday.

Tanzania earlier this week said they had no intention of import COVID-19 vaccines after President John Magufuli expressed skepticism in their efficacy.

John Magufuli has said God already freed Tanzania of COVID-19.

Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye - Photo Yahoo News

Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye – Photo Yahoo News

Tanzania has long defeated the virus thanks to God’s help, Magufuli has been quoted as saying previously.

Burundi’s former president Pitter Nkurunziza refused to take the pandemic seriously only to die from complications from the virus.

It is not clear what has changed from the moment last year when current president, Evariste Ndayishimiye, called the virus Burundi’s “worst enemy” to now that the country says it does not need vaccines to defeat that enemy.

Last month, Ndayishimiye told a gathering in Gitega that the resurgence of infections in the country is God punishing the people of Burundi.

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