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Tanzania asks citizens to wear facemasks

Tanzania has urged its citizens to wear face masks in a raft of precautions aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

“You are to wear face masks whenever you are in public so as to avoid the spread of saliva from yourself to someone next to you,” a statement from the country’s Ministry of Health explained.

The communique comes few hours after President John Magufuli called on Tanzanians to continue taking precautions against the novel coronavirus.

“As said by the president, we won last year and the economy continued to grow until we achieved the middle economy status and Corona still existed. We did not set lockdowns, and even now, we will not impose lockdowns because God is on our side…,” the Ministry’s statement further adds.

The statement also urged Tanzanians to get proper nutrition including fruits and vegetables, use natural remedies registered by the council of traditional healers, and as advised by relevant professionals and visit health facilities as soon as you see symptoms of illness so that caregivers can have a better chance of treating.

The latest information signifies a shift in thinking by President Magufuli’s administration, which had earlier denied the existence of Covid-19 in the country. This also follows prominent deaths of persons suspected to have contracted Covid-19, including Zanzibar vice-president Seif Sharif Hamad.

Magufuli has consistently claimed that ‘prayers’ healed the country of the deadly pandemic which infected millions and killed thousands worldwide but there now appears to be a change of tune.