WHILE the world contemplates various measures to tame the dire impact of the novel Coronavirus, President John Magufuli may go down in history as a statesman who perfected his Covid-19 response.
His no-lockdown approach is increasingly being emulated across the globe as governments and economists gradually realise the massive socio-economic burden brought by the lockdowns.
European Union becomes the latest global bloc to issue the anti-lockdown call, insisting people should get back to work and get economies moving again.
In a move that unarguably vindicates President Magufuli's anti-lockdown stance, the EU is thus urging the reopening of borders closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Already countries such as France, Austria and Switzerland have said they will start relaxing controls as early as this weekend. Germany and some other EU members aim to completely end border restrictions by June 15.
After two months, Germany's top flight league, Bundesliga resumed yesterday.
Speaking recently, President Magufuli said he could soon sanction the resumption of the Tanzanian Premier League, which was shelved in March as part of measures to curb the spread of the deadly viral disease.
Meanwhile, JOHN SPURK from Geneva reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has agreed with President John Magufuli’s statement that coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could become endemic like HIV, warning against any attempt to predict how long it would keep circulating and calling for a “massive effort” to counter it.
Recently, when addressing Tanzanians at his home place in Chato, President Magufuli called on Tanzanians to continue working hard for betterment of the nation as Covid-19 may never go away.
“It is possible that we may live with Covid-19 for long time as it is for HIV-AIDS, TB, measles and many others. It is very vital we continue working hard for the nation while taking recommended measures against the pandemic,” President Magufuli told the nation.
Cementing on President Magufuli’s wise statement during the online briefing in Geneva yesterday, WHO emergencies expert Mike Ryan said, “It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away”.
“I think it is important we are realistic and I don't think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear," he added. "I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates. This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be”, added Ryan.
However, he said the world had some control over how it coped with the disease, although this would take a “massive effort” even if a vaccine were found - a prospect he described as a “massive moonshot”.
More than 100 potential vaccines are being developed, including several in clinical trials, but experts have underscored the difficulties of finding vaccines that are effective against coronaviruses.
Ryan noted that vaccines exist for other illnesses, such as measles, that have not been eliminated. WHO Director General TedrosAdhanom Ghebreyesus added: “The trajectory is in our hands, and it's everybody's business, and we should all contribute to stop this pandemic”.
Coronavirus outbreak complete coverage Ryan said “very significant control” of the virus was required in order to lower the assessment of risk, which he said remained high at the national, regional and global level.
President Magufuli is among the few, smart and intelligent Presidents in Africa who has not copied-cut European, Asian and American styles like total local down as done by many African countries.