The increase in deaths, he said, is reason enough for the people of God in the East African country “to admit that there is a problem.”
“Coronavirus exists. We ask you to take precautions. We need to increase our efforts to protect ourselves,” the Secretary General of TEC said, adding, “We have a responsibility to protect the elderly and those with underlying health conditions by taking the necessary precautions.”
Toward the end of January, Catholic Bishops in Tanzania called for caution amid a new wave of COVID-19 reported in several countries saying the East African nation “is not an island.”
“Our country is not an island,” members of TEC said in their January 26 statement, adding, “We must defend ourselves, take precautions, and cry out to God with all our might so that this scourge will not overtake us.”
Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli had declared the country free of the coronavirus in June last year, crediting the COVID-19 status to the power of prayer.
However, on February 10, the US Embassy in the country reported a surge of COVID-19 cases since January 2021.
On February 17, Zanzibar’s first Vice President, Seif Hamad died while undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the Muhimbili Hospital in Dar-es-Salaam.
Hamad declared his positive status at the beginning of February, becoming “the first person to publicly reveal a COVID-19 status since April last year when President John Magufuli declared the country coronavirus-free,” according to The EastAfrican.
During the March 2 Press Conference, the Secretary General of TEC emphasized the need for Tanzanians to be equipped with facts about the COIVID-19 pandemic.
“Tanzanians have a right to be given accurate scientific information on COVID-19,” Fr. Kitima said, adding that lack of factual information about the virus is causing fear among the people.