One of Tanzania’s top politicians has asked citizens to go onto the streets on Sunday and party claiming that coronavirus has “ended”.
Paul Makonda’s claim has sparked disbelief among citizens and adds to concerns about the way Tanzanian officials are handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Makonda is regional commissioner of Tanzania’s biggest city Dar es Salaam. He is reported to have told residents to buy new clothes to look their best and party over the weekend.
But Mr Makonda’s claims are not backed by any data and his critics say his pronouncements are irresponsible.
There are fears should people respond to his call to go onto the streets and party, health guidelines won’t be observed.
Tanzania Coronavirus case count is 509 with 21 deaths and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has chided the country for its handling of the crisis.
The country’s President, John Magufuli, has recently reacted to claims by the United States government that hospitals in Tanzania are overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases.
He claims there is a “sharp decline” in the number of coronavirus patients, adding that “God has answered your prayers.”
“The way I see this trend if the week beginning from tomorrow continues like this, I plan to open places of higher education so that our students can continue with their studies,” he said to people at a church in his home of Chato, north-west Tanzania.
Tanzania has not restricted movement of citizens but large public gatherings have been banned and schools and universities closed.
But markets remain open likewise churches and mosques as President Magufuli claims the coronavirus cannot harm the bodies of worshippers.