Ill Minister Philip Mpango gives press conference

Although he is sick, the Tanzanian Finance Minister Philip Mpango held a press conference – panting heavily. He wanted to dispel the rumor that he had died of Corona.

The seriously ill Tanzanian Finance Minister Philip Mpango caused outrage on Wednesday with a public appearance. To dispel rumors that he died of the corona virus, he gave a press conference in front of the hospital in the Tanzanian capital, Dodoma, coughing and panting. Around ten journalists witnessed the event in which Mpango did not wear a mask – in contrast to the doctors and nurses who stood behind him.

Mpango’s voice was shaky as he expressed his condolences to the relatives of two prominent Tanzanian corona victims. He did not say what he was suffering from. When he was hospitalized two weeks ago, he needed an oxygen cylinder. In the past three days this was no longer necessary, “because my health has improved,” he said.

Sharp criticism of Mpango and the hospital

Mpango’s appearance caused outrage. Opposition leader Tundu Lissu questioned the “intelligence” of the leaders. “Who allowed this patient to cough on people instead of receiving hospital treatment?” He asked on Twitter. “What kind of doctors can be coughed on without a mask?” An eyewitness to Mpango’s performance, who refused to give his name, said the minister “should not have spoken given his health,” but was likely under “pressure”.

Critics accuse Tanzania of not taking the corona pandemic seriously. The US has issued a travel warning for the East African country. On Sunday, the Tanzanian President John Magufuli admitted that some of his employees and relatives had been infected with the corona virus. But they have recovered, he added. “We should all trust in God and take our precautions,” said Magufuli. “I put God first, so I don’t wear a mask.”

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