CIVID-19 CRISIS: Zanzibar breaks silence on COVID-19 infections as Tanzania is under fire for lackluster response

Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous island to Tanzania has reported 29 new Covid-19 cases, bringing total to 134.

“For Zanzibar alone, confirmed cases of the pandemic has now reached 134, an addition of twenty-nine new patients from 105 confirmed cases announced on April 26,” Health Minister Hamad Rashid Mohammed told reporters.

Muhammad also reported the Island has discharged ten people who had gained full recovery from coronavirus raising the total recoveries to 16.

Meanwhile, World Health Organization (WHO) has chided Tanzania for its ongoing lack of cooperation and transparency in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

After days of silence, officials released its latest update on the number of COVID-19 infections on Wednesday last week.

Almost all African countries release daily reports, including their current number of infections, fatalities and recoveries.

In the last update ten days ago, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said the country of 56 million people had now recorded 480 cases of COVID-19 and 16 deaths.

The tally at the time represented a 69% jump in just five days.

Majaliwa offered no explanation for the government’s silence on coronavirus numbers, though he cautioned against the “tendency of some people to issue false statistics which leads to unnecessary unrest in society.”

Tanzania recorded its first coronavirus case on March 16. President John Magufuli has been increasingly criticized at home and abroad for his response to the pandemic after the number of confirmed cases rose sharply within a month.

Meanwhile, Tanzania says it has received its first shipment of Madagascar’s self-proclaimed, plant-based “cure” for coronavirus, despite warnings from the World Health Organization that its efficacy is unproven.

The announcement on Friday came days after Madagascar said it would begin selling the herbal concoction – known as Covid-Organics – and that several African countries had already put in orders.

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Abitegeka Gerald

The News Editor ,Reporter at Kagadi Kibaale community Radio

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