Tanzania has recorded 100 new Covid-19 cases since the third wave of the viral disease broke out across the globe, President Samia Suluhu Hassan said on Monday.
In her maiden press conference at State House in Dar es Salaam on Monday, President Hassan said 70 of the 100 patients were critical.
“About 70 are on ventilators,” she said.
It was the first time Tanzania was making made Covid-19 statistics public since May 2020.
The fifth phase administration of former President John Magufuli at some point denied the existence of Covid-19 in the country.
President Hassan has adopted a completely different approach to dealing with the pandemic since ascending to power on March 19, following following Magufuli’s death on March 17.
She said on Monday that as soon as she was sworn-in as President, she embarked on ways to adopt globally-accepted measures of preventing the spread of the coronavirus, including vaccination.
Meanwhile, the Tanzanian government says it will spend at least $470 million to purchase Covid-19 vaccines and bail out sectors that were severely hit by the pandemic.
President Suluhu made the announcement during her meeting with editors and journalists at the State House in Dar es Salaam.
The President further said Tanzania has registered for the Covax package and will therefore be ready to administer the vaccine doses in the near future.
“We have $470 million to order vaccines and equipment to use in the fight against coronavirus,” she said.
She added that vaccination will be voluntary to give citizens the opportunity to choose what is best for them.
The President did not name the vaccine the country will procure given many nations have developed jabs for the killer virus which brought global economies to their knees.
Recently, the government applied for a $571 million (about Sh1.3 trillion) loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help it tackle economic challenges resulting from the pandemic.
Tabling the government’s Sh36.3 trillion 2021/22 budget in Parliament on June 10, the government said this was a low-interest loan aimed at tackling the social and economic impacts of Covid-19.
IMF officials in Dar es Salaam and Washington were quoted by Reuters as confirming talks on the matter, noting, however, that Tanzania would have to provide information on Covid-19.