Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has shocked observers by maintaining that citizens keep going to public worship centres to pray for the nation to overcome the COVID-19 scare.
While other neighbouring countries like Kenyan and Uganda have suspended all public gatherings and sent all school going children back home, President Magufuli believes coronavirus can be defeated through prayer and has encouraged all worship centres to keep operating.
The highly contagious coronavirus has so far claimed over 15,000 lives worldwide but according to Magufuli, these are the ‘only places where true healing can be found’.
“These Holy places are where God is. My fellow Tanzanians, let us not be afraid of going to praise Him,” he said
On Sunday, Mr Magufuli reportedly told a congregation in Tanzania where he had attended a church service that the Covid-19 virus is Satanic and cannot survive in the “body of Christ”.
“Corona cannot survive in the body of Christ, it will burn. That is exactly why I did not panic while taking the Holy Communion,” he said while the congregation cheered.
Over 12 Tanzanians are confirmed positive with the virus with almost the entire East Africa on lockdown.
In Kenya, the government suspended all its international passenger flights and stopped public meetings including religious gatherings and weddings, restaurants only opening for takeaways and shut down all the bars indefinitely.
In Rwanda, the government suspended all arriving and departing commercial flights for an initial period of 30 days and also temporary shut down schools, universities, and places of worship for two weeks.