Is Tanzania covering up the real number of coronavirus deaths?

Suspicion over official COVID-19 numbers grows as critics accuse gov't of of failing to inform public on true extent.
by Jaclynn Ashly
12 hours ago

Arusha, Tanzania - Omari*, a motorcycle taxi driver, stopped outside a house in Arusha City, a tourist hub in northern Tanzania and pointed to a large, grey gate.

"A person here died from COVID a few days ago," he said, before starting up his engine again and continuing down the city's pothole-riddled dirt roads.

He slowed down at another house and loudly mumbled through his blue protective mask: "The father here drives the bus between Arusha and Dar es Salaam. He picked up COVID in Dar and he died about a week ago.

"This is becoming very serious," he added. "This disease is killing a lot of people."

No one knows for sure if these claimed deaths are just rumoured to be the result of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus that has so far infected more than four million people worldwide and killed almost 300,000, or if they are indeed coronavirus-related fatalities that have not been included in Tanzania's official death toll.

According to government records, 509 people in Tanzania have so far contracted the virus and 21 have died. But the official numbers, which are provided in increasingly rare updates, are being regarded with great suspicion...