CONTROVERSIAL Tanzania President John Magufuli said on Wednesday that his country did not need a coronavirus lockdown because God would protect his people and homespun precautions such as steam inhalation were better than dangerous foreign vaccines.

His government stopped reporting coronavirus data in mid-2020.

“Vaccines are not good. If they were, then the white man would have brought vaccines for HIV/AIDS,” Magufuli said during the opening of a new farm in his western home region.

“We Tanzanians haven’t locked ourselves in and we don’t expect to lock ourselves down. I don’t expect to announce any lockdown because our God is living and He will continue to protect Tanzanians.”

Tanzania has not published nationwide figures since May 8, when it had 509 cases and 21 deaths, according to WHO data.

Unlike most nations, Tanzanians are still allowed to gather, for example, to watch sport.

The man of controversy has rubbished imported testing kits, saying they also returned positive results on a goat and pawpaw fruit. He has promoted traditional remedies, without offering data or scientific evidence.

“We will also continue to take health precautions including the use of steam inhalation,” he said.

“You inhale while you pray to God, you pray while farming maize, potatoes so that you can eat well and corona fails to enter your body. They will scare you a lot, my fellow Tanzanians, but you should stand firm.”

“Tanzanians should be careful with these imported things. You should not think that they love you a lot. This nation is rich, Africa is rich, everyone wants some of it,” he said.

“I know some Tanzanians who left the country to other countries and got vaccinated. From there, they brought a strange type of corona. Stand firm.”