DAR ES SALAAM, 30 June 2021 – Tanzanian officials have shared some statistics on the new coronavirus in the country, the first time they have done so in over a year.
Seventy Tanzanians infected with the virus are on oxygen at hospitals in the country, President Samia Suluhu Hassan told reporters during a press briefing in the port city of Dar es Salaam.
She called on Tanzanians to adhere to the restrictions put in place by her government in order to stem the spread of the virus.
“Everyone should play a role in this, every family should take measures to protect itself. We have information of Covid-19 cases along the border areas,” Hassan told reporters.
President Hassan’s predecessor, John Magufuli, was a COVID-19 denialist, who advocated prayers to cleanse the east African nation of the virus.
Effective since May 2020, Magufuli also prevented public health officials from sharing data on COVID-19 infections and deaths with the rest of the global health community.
The last time Tanzania shared data on COVID-19, the authorities claimed the country had confirmed only 509 cases, even as unofficial sources, including Catholic clergy confirmed high numbers of deaths among its religious.
Hassan was sworn into office last March following the death in office of John Magufuli.
The official cause of death was given as heart-related illness, although persistent rumors hold that Magufuli’s heart complications supposedly stemmed from him contracting COVID-19.