Tanzania’s opposition on COVID-19
Tanzania's opposition says Magufuli is hiding proper figures on COVID-19. PHOTO/DW

Tanzania’s opposition insists that the country is just formulating COVID-19 figures to show their hard work but there is no progress.

Tanzania’s political opposition has blamed President John Magufuli for disclosing wrong information regarding the COVID-19 situation in the East African country. 

This comes following Magufuli’s repeated claims about Tanzania as a country progressing well in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

During his recent address to the nation, Magufuli mentioned that most of the COVID-19 patients have been discharged in various hospitals pinpointing the Amana hospital in Dar es Salaam, where only 12 patients are still admitted from the previous 198.

However, according to the opposition members, President Magufuli claims cannot be true because unlike leaders of other African countries that have handled the virus seriously, he has undermined the pandemic.

Tanzania’s opposition insists that the country is just formulating figures to show their hard work but there is no progress in fighting COVID-19 since many Tanzanians countrywide are still living normally and socializing freely without observing the proper guidelines to control the spread of the virus.

As a way of controlling the spread of the coronavirus, many Presidents on the African continent have imposed drastic measures such as the lockdown including suspending many activities to try and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

But this has not been the case with Tanzania. Since the outbreak of the virus in the country, President Magufuli is yet to impose a strict lockdown and the few activities that he suspended like sports events, schools and international flights are set to restart next month.

On several occasions, Magufuli has been quoted urging Tanzanian citizens to gather in churches for prayers regarding COVID-19 as a devil that only God can kill. He, last month organized three days of national prayers against the pandemic.

Tanzania’s opposition on COVID-19
Tanzania’s opposition says Magufuli is hiding proper figures on COVID-19. PHOTO/DW

Statistics on Tanzania from the Johns Hopkins University last released on 29 April indicate that there are 480 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country and only 16 deaths.

This failure to allow media to disclose figures and information regarding the virus according to the opposition members justifies their claim.

They claim that the government is reporting wrongly about how many people have been infected countrywide and those that have died so far. The opposition politicians say that there have been more than 400 deaths in Dar es Salaam and between 16,000 and 20,000 cases nationwide.

“The government say there are no patients in the hospitals but we know of three hospitals in Dar es Salaam where the ICU beds are all full,” said Zitto Kabwe, leader of the Alliance for Change and Transparency adding that the hospitals have been decongested to prove their facts.

“The government decongested these hospitals to prove the US wrong … Many patients were told to treat themselves at home. This will cause a very big problem in the next weeks.”

The US embassy earlier this month advised that all available evidence pointed to the increasing cases of Covid-19 cases in Dar es Salaam and other locations in Tanzania as claimed by the opposition.

In response to the allegations, the government spokesperson, Hassan Abbas, said that it would be impossible to keep quiet about a pandemic refuting claims of decongesting the hospitals.