Tanzania’s COVID-denying president asks citizens to pray for the country

President John Magufuli

Say what now? So apparently Tanzania’s COVID-denying president, President John Magufuli is at his wit’s end and has asked the nation to go down in prayer for three days.

Technically, he still hasn’t admitted that the virus which has killed over two million people worldwide exists. Instead, he asked citizens to intercede against unnamed “respiratory diseases”. This comes as the country is seeing a resurgence in infections.

Tanzania has had a total of 509 cases of which 183 have recovered, and experienced 21 COVID-19 related deaths.

But according to the Associated Press, the government has not updated its number of coronavirus cases since April, and the health ministry has promoted unproven herbal remedies.

“Maybe we have wronged God somewhere,” President Magufuli told mourners at a funeral for his chief secretary, John Kijazi, on Friday.

“Let us all repent.”

And he beseeched he country to remain calm.

“We managed to defeat these respiratory diseases through prayer last year. I am sure we will do so this year,” he said in the nationally televised event.