COVID-19: Tanzanian President John Magufuli declines a lockdown proposal to save the country’s economy
Tanzanian President John Joseph Pombe Magufuli has refused to enforce a lockdown in Capital Dar es Salaam even as coronavirus cases surge.
Magufuli speaking on Wednesday 22 April 2020, noted that he cannot enforce a lockdown in Tanzania as suggested by different parties because 80 per cent of the country’s revenue comes from Dar es Salaam.
“There are those who have suggested that we lockdown Dar es Salaam. This is not possible. Dar es Salaam is the only centre where we collect almost 80 per cent of the country’s revenue. We can continue taking all measures to curb the virus but not by locking down Dar es Salaam,” Magufuli said.
Magufuli made the remarks during a joint meeting of heads of defence and security in Chato his home town.
He said very many coronavirus patients have recovered almost 100 but very few have since been officially recorded in the country’s statistics.
“Preach positive messages about the pandemic, because it is not true that everyone who dies it is because of the coronavirus,” Magufuli said.
He as well mentioned that it’s senseless to keep people under quarantine for long after testing negative for the virus.
Magufuli then commended World Bank for granting economies most hit by the virus to borrow money but according to him, World Bank should instead waive off loans from these countries to help them build their economies.
“Instead of giving us the offer to borrow more money, the World Bank should waive some of the loans even by a certain percentage. Every month we use almost Tsh700 billion to service our debts with a huge chunk going to the World Bank, so by giving us such relief, it will allow us to build our economy,” Magufuli said.
As a result, Magufuli asked other African countries to join him in asking international financial institutions to waive off debts to help build their African economies.
Tanzania as of today has 284 coronavirus cases, 10 deaths, 11 recoveries and 263 active cases.