International

Row as Tanzania official names coronavirus patient

People arriving at a hospital in Dar es Salaam are asked to clean their hands

A Tanzanian official has caused controversy after he revealed that an opposition politician has a coronavirus patient in his family.

Regional commissioner Paul Makonda was addressing a gathering at the main bus stand in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam about the dangers of public gatherings in spreading the virus.

He alleged that opposition politician Freeman Mbowe had called off planned political rallies because he was housing a coronavirus patient.

“If Freeman Mbowe didn’t have a coronavirus patient, he would have plunged this nation into a big crisis. The government says there shouldn’t be gatherings, while he says ‘we are gathering’.”

Following Mr Makonda’s revelation, Mr Mbowe confirmed his son has the virus.

“Regardless of the ethics and misinformation within that statement, it is true that my son has tested positive with the virus.”

On Tuesday, the country’s main opposition party, Chadema, announced it would be cancelling rallies in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

So far, Tanzania has confirmed 12 cases of coronavirus, including eight Tanzanians