George Russell in New York

The World Well being Group has pleaded with Tanzania to take extra measures to regulate the coronavirus pandemic as greater than 9 months have handed for the reason that east African nation offered any replace on circumstances.

John Magafuli, Tanzania’s president, final yr declared the nation “coronavirus free” however docs and well being officers are sceptical.

The Zanzibar regional authorities introduced that its first vice-president Seif Sharif Hamad died on February 17 on account of Covid-19.

Certainly one of Magafuli’s closest advisers, John Kijazi, died the subsequent day, formally of a coronary heart assault, however at his funeral Magafuli led prayers to defeat unnamed “respiratory ailments” ravaging the nation. “Possibly we now have wronged God someplace. Allow us to all repent,” he informed mourners.

Tanzania has reported 509 circumstances with 21 deaths amongst its 58m folks, however has not launched any information since Could 2020. Neighbouring Kenya, with a inhabitants of about 52.6m, has recognized greater than 104,000 circumstances, with 1,817 fatalities.

Buyers use a hand-washing station as they enter a market in Dodoma, Tanzania

“This case stays very regarding,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned in an announcement on Sunday. “I renew my name for Tanzania to start out reporting Covid-19 circumstances and share information.”

He mentioned the federal government wanted to step up public consciousness that the pandemic was persevering with all over the world.

“I additionally name on Tanzania to implement the general public well being measures that we all know work in breaking the chains of transmission, and to arrange for vaccination,” Tedros mentioned.

The WHO head mentioned a number of Tanzanians travelling to neighbouring international locations and past had examined optimistic for Covid-19.

“This underscores the necessity for Tanzania to take sturdy motion each to safeguard their very own folks and shield populations in these international locations and past,” he mentioned.