Dar es Salaam, Tanzania- Like other Tanzanians, Esther Mngodo, like other Tanzanians, was relieved this week to hear that government officials finally urge the people of the country to take precautions against the coronavirus and even wear masks. .
“This is a good move,” said Mngodo, a 34-year old resident of Dar es Salaam. “But more work needs to be done to raise public awareness, testing and treatment. Most importantly, we must have a clear strategy to deal with how to survive these unprecedented times.”
The official attitude towards the coronavirus has changed surprisingly. President John Magfulli said on Sunday that the government has not banned wearing masks and encouraged those who are willing to wear them.
However, he warned that the masks he sold in the country were substandard, indicating that the high mortality rate associated with the coronavirus worldwide may be related to the ingestion of such products, and claimed that such products in rural areas of Tanzania are unlikely to become the product. Victims. The virus is because they tend not to wear them.
“The government has not banned wearing masks. But we must pay attention to the masks we wear. We will perish. Don̵
He said: “These masks bought in the store, we are committing suicide.” Then he suggested that Tanzanians make their own masks or use locally produced masks.
For a long time, Magufuli downplayed the severity of COVID-19, urging Tanzanians to pray, use steam inhalation and receive local remedies to protect themselves from respiratory diseases. Tanzania stopped publishing infection numbers in April 2020. A few weeks ago, Magufuli declared the country free of coronavirus through divine intervention.
For Mngodo, the recent U-turn may be the result of the deadly resurgence of infection that has swept the country in the past few months.
Media consultant Mondodo said: “The problem seems to have reached the point where the government cannot deny the seriousness of the problem.”
Death announcements often attributed to “current pneumonia” or “breathing problems” have flooded social media.
Among the dead were many well-known personalities, including several university professors, the former governor of the Central Bank, the country’s chief secretary, and the first deputy governor of Zanzibar, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad (Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad). ).
Among them, Hamad is the only person who has been confirmed to have been infected with the new coronavirus because he sent the results of his COVID-19 test to the media. As for others, while the world is still battling the coronavirus pandemic, many ordinary Tanzanians have been moved by its impact and let the public speculate on the cause of their deaths.
These circumstances have led religious leaders and other critics, especially critics on social media, to pressure the government to provide clear and consistent guidelines for fighting the epidemic, while also urging individuals to take preventive measures.
Frank Minja, a Tanzanian doctor based in the United States, said that if he should have changed his mind long ago, this might present opportunities. “We want to encourage [the president] Speed up the implementation of effective measures we know and implement them immediately. “He said.
“I don’t want to say that it’s too late, because if we say it too late, it means we might not do anything. And since it’s essentially a pandemic, it’s never too late to start doing the right thing. late.
Dorothy Semu, acting chairman of the opposition ACT Wazalendo party, criticized Magufuli, saying that measures taken when the virus first entered the country, including physical distancing and cancellation of major incidents, should remain in place.
Thurm said: “I am a politician, but I am also a believer in science.” “As leaders responsible for people’s lives, it is important that we make decisions based on facts. It’s like discovering HIV/AIDS; some People deny its existence and many people have lost their lives. Therefore, I hope that the president, also a scientist, will continue to implement the measures of the past and we will save many lives.”
Magufuli, a former teacher and industrial chemist,’s new stance on wearing masks seems to have prompted many other public agencies and officials to suddenly come forward and warn people about the dangers of the coronavirus and the measures that individuals should take to protect themselves from the coronavirus. . virus.
For example, the agency that runs the Dar es Salaam express bus on Monday said that if they do not wear masks, they will not allow passengers to board the bus.
At the same time, the Ministry of Health, led by Dorothy Gwajima, advocates inhaling steam and vegetable smoothies to treat COVID-19 on this premise. Earlier this week, it issued a statement warning people not to contract the virus and called on them to take measures. Precaution.
However, it insists that lock-in measures are not recommended.
The ministry’s statement said: “As the President said, we won the victory last year and the economy continued to grow until we reached middle-income economic status and the coronavirus still exists.”
“We have not set lockdown measures. Even now, we will not impose lockdown measures because God is on our side.”