Tanzanian President Dons Mask Publicly for First Time in Country

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, her deputy president and prime minister wore masks to a meeting with prominent senior citizens, cementing an about-turn from previous government policy that denied the existence of the coronavirus.

The East African nation has stepped up its response to the pandemic since Hassan assumed office in March following the death of her predecessor, John Magufuli, who had declared victory over the virus and discouraged the use of face masks and vaccines.

“Our way of life has changed,” Hassan said in a televised meeting with the so-called Dar elders. “The elderly are a high-risk group, that’s why we decided to wear masks today to protect you from possible infection.”

An advisory team she appointed shortly after rising to the helm is still working on recommendations on how the nation can leapfrog its response to the deadly virus.

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