Covid-19: Magufuli warns health officials against getting vaccines

Jan, 28th 2021 – Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has warned health officials against acquiring Covid-19 vaccines, saying they could harm the population. President Magufuli urged Tanzanians to continue taking precautions, saying prayers and traditional medicine, including steam inhalation, were the way to deal with the pandemic.

Magufuli said, “The Ministry of Health should be careful, they should not hurry to try these vaccines without doing research, not every vaccine is important to us, we should be careful. We should not be used as ‘guinea pigs’.”

He added, “Vaccinations are dangerous. If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, he should have found a vaccination for Aids, cancer, and TB by now.”

He however urged Tanzanians to continue taking precautions adding that traditional medicine, steam inhalation, and prayer were the way to deal with the virus. “Many countries have a lockdown, but in Tanzania, there is no plan of lockdown and we’ll never introduce lockdown because our God is alive and he will continue to protect us,” he said.

Though the president is a devout Catholic, He did not comment on the Catholic Church’s concern about the recent spike in deaths in its urban parishes. The church said in a statement, “Our country is not an island. We have every reason to take precautions and pray to God so that we can be saved from this pandemic.”

Bishop Yuda Thadei Ruwaichi of Dar es Salaam said, “Covid is not finished, Covid is still here. Let’s not be reckless, we need to protect ourselves, wash your hands with soap and water. We also have to go back to wearing masks.”

President Magufuli failed to address the reports from Denmark of its citizens who visited Tanzania and tested positive for the new strain from South Africa. He however blamed those traveling outside the country.

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