There are several reports coming through that claim Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli may be admitted in a Nairobi hospital, Kenya, battling COVID-19.
Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper has confirmed that an African leader is admitted in Nairobi Hospital. The leader has reportedly been in Nairobi Hospital for two weeks.
Declining to name the leader, Daily Nation hints at the identity of the leader as one who regularly addresses church congregants and public rallies. It goes on to say he was last seen in public on February 27.
Tanzania’s Magufuli, a devoted Christian, has repeatedly called upon his countrymen and women to pray in response to the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). Magufuli has denied that Tanzania has any COVID-19 cases since the outbreak in March 2019. Recently, he has rejected suggestions that the country imports available COVID-19 vaccines.
Magufuli, however, has been under pressure as religious leaders call upon the government to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak this year. Religious leaders, especially the Catholic Church, have reported deaths in their ranks who they suspect were a result of COVID-19.
Recently, the Tanzanian government has slowly started to advise the public to social distance. The government has also called upon the population to wash hands and desanitize after months of remaining mum on the outbreak.
If confirmed, Magufuli will be the second East African leader to contract COVID-19. Burundi’s outgoing Pierre Nkurunziza contracted the disease and succumbed to it in June 2020. His death prompted Burundi to reverse its COVID-19 policy.
There is no official communication from the Tanzanian government so far on the reports that President Magufuli maybe unwell.