Tanzania’s main opposition leader said on Thursday that President John Magufuli, an avowed COVID-19 sceptic out of public view for nearly two weeks, is in India receiving medical treatment for the virus and is in a serious condition, APA reports citing Reuters.
Tundu Lissu, who lost last year’s election to Magufuli, cited medical and security sources in Kenya for his information that the president had been transferred from hospital in Kenya to India and was in a coma - but did not provide evidence.
Tanzanian government spokesmen have stayed mum during days of speculation over the 61-year-old Magufuli’s whereabouts and health. Representatives of Kenya’s and India’s governments also contacted by Reuters have not given information either.
In power since 2015 and nicknamed “The Bulldozer,” Magufuli was last seen on Feb. 27 looking his normal robust self during a ceremony at State House in Dar es Salaam.
Lissu told Reuters that Magufuli was flown to Kenya’s Nairobi Hospital at the start of this week and then on to an unknown destination in India. “He’s comatose since yesterday morning,” he told Reuters, without elaborating.
Kenya’s Nation newspaper cited unidentified political and diplomatic sources on Wednesday saying that an African leader, which it did not name, was being treated for COVID-19 on a ventilator at Nairobi Hospital. [L1N2L80WJ]
Hospital representatives told Reuters they had no information to disclose. Magufuli’s director of communications Gerson Msigwa and government spokesman Hassan Abbas have not responded to Reuters messages seeking comment.