DAR ES SALAAM
, 18 April, 2020 / 2:14 AM
In the East African nation of Tanzania where, unlike in other countries in the region, places of worship have remained open amid COVID-19 restrictions, the President declared three days of national prayer “for God’s protection and healing.”
“Fellow Tanzanians, due to the pandemic, I urge you to use these three days, from April 17 to April 19, to pray for God’s protection and healing,” President John Pombe Magufuli tweeted Thursday, April 16.
In his Tweet, President Magufuli, a Catholic faithful, invited Tanzanians to “pray in our respective denominations and regions” and added, “the Almighty Lord who has power over all things to save us from this disease … He will listen.”
With only schools closed and social gatherings suspended except meeting to worship, the East African nation is yet to declare any restrictions on movement; life has continued normally with President Magufuli urging Tanzanians to work harder during this period to grow the economy.
On Friday, April 17, the country recorded a spike in the confirmed cases of COVID-19 over a 24-hour period, from 96 patients to 147.
Announcing the 53 new cases, the Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu confirmed that all the new patients were Tanzanian nationals who had been tested either in the mainland or Zanzibar island, PML daily reported.
“Of all the cases reported since March 16, 11 have healed and have been discharged, four of the remaining cases are critical whereas 127 are under close monitoring but stable,” the Minister told local media.
Catholic Bishops in the country used the Easter celebrations to call for strict observance of COVID-19 preventive measures put in place by the government.
On his part, Bishop Anthony Langwen of Mbulu diocese told Christians on Easter Sunday, “Humans cannot fight the coronavirus alone, without the almighty God.”
In Moshi, Bishop Loduvick Joseph Minde urged prayers for Christians across the world who could not gather in churches due to Covid-19 restrictions. For him, keeping the churches in their country open was a “gift from God to the nation.”
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa