5 March 2021 |

It wasn’t until February 21 this year that the Tanzanian Health Ministry acknowledged the presence of COVID-19 in the country.

Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli, had for months denied the presence of the virus. Magufuli claimed Tanzania had defeated COVID with God’s help last year. He changed course last month, urging precautions against the coronavirus.

An Adventist Today correspondent in East Africa reports the Adventist church has been called upon by the government to contain the risk of spreading “breathing disease.”

Baraka Butoke, pastor of Magomeni SDA Church (the first congregation to introduce English services), is urging members to pray and prepare for anything. The denomination in the country has not officially commented on the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Magufuli has claimed vaccinations against COVID-19 are dangerous and instead urges Tanzanians to protect themselves from the disease by using domestic measures including steam inhalation.

He previously urged people to pray to protect themselves from the virus.

The Catholic Church in Tanzania, the US embassy, and other entities have spoken up about a deadly resurgence of Covid-19 in the country. Many claim the recent deaths of a number high-profile politicians in the country were due to COVID.

On Feb. 21, the World Health Organization (WHO) called upon Tanzania to take “robust action” to tackle the virus. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the situation remains “very concerning.”

Since then, the Ministry of Health has released a statement urging Tanzanians to take precautions, including hand washing and wearing face masks.

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