The World Health Organization has called on Tanzanian Authorities to take the COVID-19 threat seriously. – By Gerald Gekara.
While sending in his condolences for the recent loss of the Cheif Officer, WHO Secretary General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the authorities should reconsider assessing the impact of COVID-19 within its borders. He noted that the failure in reporting has resulted in a crisis.
“I have spoken with several authorities in Tanzania but WHO is yet to receive any information regarding what measures Tanzania is taking to respond to the pandemic.”
While talking on the widespread vaccine role out and the reluctance that the President John Pombe Magufuli has against the virus, Dr. Tedros renewed his call on Tanzania to get inline with the COVID-19 Vaccination program.
“This situation remains very concerning. I renew my call for Tanzania to start reporting COVID-19 cases and share data. I also call on Tanzania to implement the public health measures that we know work in breaking the chains of transmission, and to prepare for vaccination.”
He added that the primary goal of any government is to provide sustainable living standards and a protection from a raging pandemic falls under the mandate.
“COVID-19 is a serious disease that can cause severe illness and even death. National authorities everywhere must do all they can to protect people and save lives and WHO stands ready to support them in the response against this deadly virus.” Dr. Tedros concluded.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, President John Magufuli has consistently downplayed the danger of the coronavirus.
WHO’s appeal reinforces the appeal made from Tanzania by some personalities and pressure groups, sometimes at the risk of harassment by the authorities.
On Saturday 22 February, the Tanzania Law Society (TLS) became the first professional body to call on the government to openly acknowledge the presence of the virus and take appropriate measures.
The country last published official figures on coronavirus infections in April 2020 (officially 509 cases).