Dr John Pombe Magufuli, who has been leader of the country since 2015, feels his people should not have to wear them due to CO2 emissions.
In a letter dated 24th of May, which was sent to media outlets across the world, through the Director of Presidential Communication in Tanzania, it outlined that he president effected the ban on face masks as well as giving the green light of normal operation of public transportation and also the reopening of of schools.
The letter was sent to reporters and said:
“To The Media,
President of The Republic of Tanzania Dr John Pombe Magufuli has today on 24, May 2020 banned the use of face masks by Tanzanians as the usage has caused fear and panic to Tanzanians leading to some closing down their businesses.His excellency The President has also allowed normal resumption of public transport as well as normal resumption of schools.We thank God for the defeat against Corona, let continue to wash hands to observe hygene, Bye Corona.”
Tanzania has had lack rules regarding the virus with President Magafuli downplaying the corona pandemic and saying that America ‘makes up numbers’ regarding the cases and deaths.
He and his ministers have also recently told the American envoy to Tanzania not to ’cause panic’ to Tanzanians after the American embassy in the capital, Dar es Salaam, stated that the chance of contracting the virus was “extremely high”.
The President of Tanzania had also brushed off pressure from the west to put his country in lockdown, keeping establishments open and even churches saying: “Coronavirus cannot survive in churches!”