Tanzania: Magufuli’s Absence Trigger COVID-19 Diagnosis Rumors

The absence of Tanzanian President, John Magufuli from the public lately has triggered rumors that he contracted COVID-19 and is seeking treatment out of the country.

It is rumored that Magufuli is likely in Nairobi, Kenya after Kenya’s Nation newspaper reported that an African leader had been admitted to a Nairobi hospital, without confirming their name.


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Other sources claim that Magufuli is in a Dar-es-Salaam hospital, suffering from Covid-19-like symptoms while some are saying he has been airlifted to India.

Magufuli and top government officials have in the past claimed that COVID-19 was conquered by prayer urging Tanzanians not to be afraid.

This narrative has been changing lately after some top government officials died of complications whose symptoms were similar to those of COVID-19.

Those who have died include chief secretary to State House John Kijazi, former deputy finance minister Gregory Teu, former governor of Bank of Tanzania Benno Ndulu, and first vice-president of Zanzibar Maalim Seif Sharrif Hamad, whose party ACT Wazalendo confirmed he had tested positive for Covid-19 just before his death.

President Magufuli indirectly admitted recently that Tanzania had a COVID-19 problem urging the citizenry to take precautionary measures such as wearing face masks.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been criticising Tanzania’s approach to COVID-19.

More: The Africa Report

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