The United States Embassy in Tanzania has said that the country’s government is refusing to publicize numbers on new cases of the coronavirus, a situation that puts Tanzanians and others in the country at an “exponential growth” risk.
The diplomatic mission on Wednesday issued health alert notes where it said hospitals in Tanzania’s commercially vibrant city of Dar-es-Salaam have been “overwhelmed.”
“Despite limited official reports, all evidence points to exponential growth of the epidemic in Dar and other locations in Tanzania,” the alert said.
There was however no evidence by the embassy to challenge Tanzania’s official COVID-19 numbers of a little over 500 and 21 deaths.
Tanzania president John Magufuli has preached the need for Tanzanians to have faith in prayer as the country battles the virus. Although he holds a doctorate in chemistry, President Magufuli has attracted worldwide attention for what many experts believe are the unproven ways he has led his country through the pandemic.
Earlier in the month, Magufuli expressed skepticism about the country’s numbers of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, alleging that “probably, the technicians are also bought to mislead.”
Magufuli addressed his country on the progress being made by the east African nation against the pandemic and was quite adamant that the number the country’s national laboratory had churned out was mistaken.
He added that he was privy to results from tests he had secretly ordered to be carried on fruits and animals. Magufuli alleged that tests on a papaya fruit, a quail and a goat came back positive.
He said he suspected a “dirty game”. He also entertained the possibility of “technical errors or these imported reagents have issues.”
Last week, Magufuli suspended the country’s head of the national health laboratory over the mishaps the president claimed had occurred at the institutiton.