Samia Suluhu Hassan alerts a shift in strategy from the COVID-scepticism of her late predecessor John Magufuli.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has stated it’s “not correct to disregard” the coronavirus pandemic, in feedback suggesting a shift from her COVID-sceptic predecessor, who downplayed the illness.
Hassan introduced she would create an knowledgeable coronavirus activity power to advise her authorities, saying they’d canvass international opinion on the pandemic and make suggestions about “treatments” and insurance policies.
“It’s not correct to disregard it. We can not reject or settle for it with none proof from analysis,” Hassan advised her newly appointed everlasting secretaries at a swearing-in ceremony in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.
“They [experts] will inform us extra concerning the pandemic, and advise us about what the world is proposing. We can not settle for all the things because it comes, however we additionally can not isolate ourselves as an island whereas the world is transferring in a special course.”
Hassan turned Tanzania’s first female president final month following the loss of life of John Magufuli.
Magufuli, who Hassan stated died of coronary heart illness at 61, had dismissed the threat from the coronavirus pandemic – saying God and steam treatments would shield Tanzanians.
He opposed mask-wearing and social distancing and denounced vaccines as a part of a Western conspiracy to take Africa’s wealth.
Tanzania has not reported coronavirus information since Could final yr. The World Well being Group repeatedly urged the federal government to be extra clear however was ignored.
Hassan has vowed to “begin the place Magufuli ended” and all eyes have been on potential modifications to the nation’s insurance policies and openness regarding COVID-19.
“We can’t be studying about COVID-19 on this planet and if you attain sections about Tanzania, one discover[s] gaps. I believe we should be clearer whether or not we settle for or not,” she stated.
In one other coverage announcement, Hassan ordered that officers “free” media shops banned by her predecessor, whose administration was criticised for a heavy-handed crackdown on the press.
“We should always not give any room to say that we’re suppressing media freedom,” she stated.
“Our rules also needs to be clear for each offence and their punishment. We should always not use power to ban media platforms.”
No media shops have been talked about by title, however final yr Tanzania’s Daima newspaper was indefinitely banned, whereas broadcaster Wasafi TV and on-line community Kwanza TV have been handed suspensions.
Tanzania was lengthy seen as a haven of stability and democracy in an in any other case risky area, however alarm grew over a slide into autocracy beneath Magufuli’s rule.
Most overseas media weren’t allowed into Tanzania to cowl the 2020 presidential election through which Magufuli and Hassan, then his deputy, gained a second time period in a disputed vote.