Africa, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Tanzanian president in Kenya with COVID-19: Opposition

Multiple local news outlets in Kenya report unnamed African leader was admitted to Nairobi Hospital

Andrew Wasike   | 11.03.2021
Tanzanian president in Kenya with COVID-19: Opposition Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli

NAIROBI, Kenya

An opposition leader in Tanzania has claimed that the country's president was hospitalized in Kenya with severe COVID-19 and is in critical condition.

Citing government sources, Tundu Lissu urged authorities on Thursday to publicly disclose the health condition of President John Pombe Magufuli.

"He hasn't been seen in public since Feb. 24," Lissu told the Kenya-based KTN news, claiming that Magufuli had been hospitalized in Dar es Salaam for three days before his condition worsened and "they had to fly him out."

Numerous local news outlets in Kenya have reported since Monday night that an African leader was admitted to the Nairobi Hospital.

Multiple people who attend the same church as Magufuli have reportedly confirmed a two-week absence of the Tanzanian leader, who is known to be a regular churchgoer.

Magufuli had previously urged Tanzanians not to observe measures put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, declaring the disease eradicated from his country.

He has urged Tanzanians not to seek COVID-19 vaccines, but to observe religious rituals and inhale herbal-infused steam to protect themselves from disease, including the coronavirus.

His administration has also refused to share data on COVID-19 infections since May 2020, prompting nations from across the globe to warn their nationals against traveling to Tanzania, citing a high risk of contracting the disease.

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