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Africa News of Tuesday, 2 February 2021


'Cautious' Tanzania has no plans for coronavirus vaccines - Health Minister

President John Magufuli says the country is virus-free President John Magufuli says the country is virus-free

At a time some African countries have started coronavirus vaccinations and others are awaiting the delivery of vaccine consignments, Tanzania says it had no plans of importing vaccines.

Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima is quoted as saying the government, for now, had no such plans but was rather urging the citizens instead to stick to local remedies.

“For now the government has no plans to receive the Covid vaccine being distributed in other countries,” Dr Gwajima said.

Top government officials have been seen in social media posts resorting to traditional remedies and advising the populace to do same.

This comes at a time when there are fears that coronavirus cases could be on the rise. The Catholic Church has recently reported spike in requiem masses - blaming them possibly coronavirus infections.

The country has not released coronavirus statistics since May 2020, despite that; the media is barred from releasing or making reference to unofficial statistics.

Meanwhile vice-president of Tanzania's semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, Seif Sharif Hamad, is currently receiving treatment after contracting the virus. He is on record as the first Tanzanian to publicly declare his status.

Presidential scepticism over vaccines

President Magufuli recently cautioned against the vaccines being rolled out across the world.

“You should stand firm. Vaccinations are dangerous. If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, he should have found a vaccination for Aids by now; he would have found a vaccination of tuberculosis by now; he would have found a vaccination for malaria by now; he would have found a vaccination for cancer by now,” he said.

“The Health ministry must know that not every vaccination is meaningful to our nation. Tanzanians must be mindful so that we are not used for trials of some doubtful vaccinations which can have serious repercussions on our health,” he added.

The president has also stressed the government position that there was no case of coronavirus in the country. “We have lived for over one year without the virus because our God is able and Satan will always fail. The Health ministry should be cautious, and avoid the temptation to turn us into a country where vaccination trials are conducted freely.”

“In a certain country, its girl children – aged below 14 years – were vaccinated against what was said to be cervical cancer, but it later emerged that the vaccination was meant to make them infertile,” Magufuli added.

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