WHO chief urges Tanzanian leader to tackle Covid-19

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WHO DG, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has sent his congratulations to Tanzania’s newly inaugurated president, saying he hopes they can work together to tackle coronavirus.

“I look forward to working with you to keep people safe from Covid-19, end the pandemic and achieve a healthier Tanzania. Together!” he tweeted.

Samia Suluhu Hassan has just been sworn-in as the East African nation’s new leader – two days after the death of President John Magufuli.

The late president gained international notoriety in the last year for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tanzania has not published details of its coronavirus cases since May, and the government has refused to purchase vaccines despite a plea from the WHO that Tanzanians be inoculated.

Instead, Magufuli called for prayers and herbal-infused steam therapy to counter the virus.

He also mocked the efficacy of masks, something Ugandan writer Charles Onyango-Obbo points out in a tweet is not lost on Gado in his latest political sketch.

The Kenya-based Tanzanian cartoonist shows Magufuli, a devout Catholic, being greeted in heaven by an angel saying: “I’m afraid you can’t be allowed in without a mask!”

Questions had been raised about Magufuli’s health before his death on Wednesday, which was blamed on heart complications.

He had not been seen in public for more than two weeks and some opposition politicians had said he had contracted coronavirus. (BBC)

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