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Covid19: Magufuli announces three days of prayer, refuses to declare lockdown despite deaths

Magufuli praying. Courtesy Photo

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has refused to announce a lockdown despite a spike in Covid19 cases and deaths, but declared three days of prayer to seek God’s intervention.

Magufuli has told mourners at the requiem mass for Chief Secretary Ambassador John Kijazi in Dar es Salaam that prayers would begin on February 19.

“Today for the Muslims who have already begun, tomorrow the Seventh Day Adventists who pray on Saturdays and on Sunday for Christians,” said the president.

“God has never forsaken this nation. We won last year and graduated to middle incomes status amid coronavirus, and projects implementation went on without imposing a lockdown and we will never impose lockdown. Let’s pray and fast for three days I am sure we will win. May I ask religious leaders just as you have been doing, keep insisting in prayers. We will win. We won last year we will win this year and years to come.’’ 

Kijazi is believed to have succumbed to Covid19, and so the vice president of Tanzania’s semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago Seif Sharif Hamad.

This is not the first time Magufuli has refused to impose a lockdown, instead calling for prayers, arguing that no virus would survive prayers.

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