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Tanzanian President Under Fire For Worship Meetings Amid Virus

  • Magufuli says people can continue going to church and mosques
  • Opposition politician urged not argue with science on outbreak
John Magufuli
John MagufuliPhotographer: AFP via Getty Images

Tanzanian President John Magufuli was criticized for asking people to continue going to places of worship at a time when restrictions should be stepped up to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

Just before announcing six more confirmed cases of the virus to take the country’s total to 12 on Sunday, Magufuli was in church where he likened the pandemic to Satan, needing divine intervention to be quelled. Tanzania should take precautions but the government hasn’t prohibited prayers in mosques and churches because that’s where “there is true salvation,” Magufuli said in Swahili during a church service in the capital, Dodoma.