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Tanzanian president thanks Chinese official for not wearing face mask during visit

The President of Tanzania John Magufuli has declared the country "coronavirus-free" thanks to prayers by citizens.

The President of Tanzania, John Magufuli shocked many on Friday when he thanked a visiting Chinese minister for not wearing a mask.

The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi seemed to be the odd one out in his delegation, with the rest wearing masks.

However, Megafuli who was addressing newsmen during the visit of the Chinese minister, claimed that the action proves there’s no coronavirus in the country.

“I want to thank minister Wang Yi, he knows in Tanzania we don’t have Corona that’s why he’s not wearing a mask. Thank you very much Mr Wang Yi… and to demonstrate I will shake his hand as we head to share a meal together,” President Magufuli said.

READ ALSO: Tanzania opposition parties demand election rerun, call for street protests

Mr Yi is said to be on a five-nation tour to Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Tanzania and Seychelles.

“It is a good tradition of Chinese diplomacy that the foreign minister always begins a year’s overseas visits in Africa,” China’s diplomatic service quotes Mr Yi as saying.

It also says China will “despatch medical experts” and wants to “fast track” existing building projects that have been put on hold by the pandemic.

The President of Tanzania has been widely criticised in recent times for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, dismissing World Health Organization guidelines that urge social distancing among other measures to stem the spread of the virus.

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