Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, inspects a guard of honour by the Kenya Defence Forces at State House in Nairobi, Kenya, May 4, 2021. Photo REUTERS/Baz Ratner

 

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Tanzania’s new president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, on Friday stressed the importance of face masks in fighting COVID-19, ditching one of the most controversial policies of her late coronavirus-sceptic predecessor.

Hassan took office in March after the death of John Magufuli, who had urged Tanzanians to shun masks and denounced vaccines as a Western conspiracy, to the frustration of the World Health Organization.

Last month, she formed a committee to research whether Tanzania, which under Magufuli stopped reporting coronavirus data, should follow the course that the rest of the world has taken against the pandemic.

On Friday, wearing a face mask and flanked by senior government and security officials, also all in masks, Hassan addressed prominent community elders in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

“We have come with face masks because elders are in a group of people who are at higher risk of contracting the prevailing disease,” she said. “We have found it is important to protect you.”

One of those present was Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima, who, while Magufuli was president, urged Tanzanians to embrace steam inhalations, traditional medicines and even vegetable smoothies to protect themselves against COVID-19.

Magufuli died in March after weeks of speculation that he was ill with COVID-19.- Reuters

Image via Radio Tamazuj

 

The coronavirus strain circulating in India has been detected in three African countries, according to the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bloomberg reported that authorities in Kenya, Uganda, and Morocco have announced the presence of the variant known as B.1.617. 

John Nkengasong, the director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said in an online briefing Thursday that five cases have been found in Kenya and one in Uganda, while the Moroccan government is “investigating some cases there.”

Fearing an influx of infections and mindful of how transmissible the variant is, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania are among countries that have temporarily banned flights from India. Covid-19 strains first detected in the U.K. and South Africa have been reported in 20 and 23 African nations respectively, according to Nkengasong.

African countries have administered 20.2 million of the 37.6 million vaccine doses they have received, covering 1.1% of the population of more than 1.3 billion, he said. - Radio Tamazuj

Photo Anadolu Agency

 

ANKARA (AA) - Kenya on Monday confirmed 18 new COVID-19-related deaths and 137 new infections after doing 1,641 COVID-19 tests across the country in last 24 hours.

While 2,871 fatalities from the virus have been confirmed by the Health Ministry so far, it confirmed a total of 160,559 infections from 1.68 million tests done since last year across the country of almost 55 million.

The ministry also confirmed 216 recoveries from the COVID-19 Monday, pushing the total to 109,077 including 79,443 from home-based care and isolation and 29,634 from various healthcare facilities.

On the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the East African country, the ministry said that as of Monday, “a total of 887,034 persons have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The vaccinated include 516,616 age 58 and over, 158,168 healthcare workers, 137,701 teachers, and 74,554 security officers, according to the ministry’s latest daily update.

On Saturday, President Uhuru Kenyatta, praised healthcare workers for their role in the fight against COVID-19 as the rate of infections in the country falls.

He also announced the lifting of partial lockdown measures imposed last month to curb the spread of the virus.

Restaurants, bars, schools, and religious services will now reopen, Kenyatta said, encouraging employers and businesses to allow employees to work from home. - Ekip/Anadolu Agency

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