NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Burundi has become at least the second African country to say it does not need COVID-19 vaccines, even as doses finally begin to arrive on the continent which is experiencing a fatal resurgence of cases.
East African nation’s health minister Thaddee Ndikumana told reporters on Thursday evening that prevention is more important, and “since more than 95% of patients are recovering, we estimate that vaccines are failing. are not yet necessary “.
The Minister spoke by announcing new measures against the pandemic. The country closed its land and sea borders last month. It now has well over 1,600 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Neighboring Tanzania said this week that it has no plans to accept COVID-19 vaccines after President John Magufuli expressed doubts about them, without giving any evidence. He insists the country has long defeated the virus with God’s help, but faces a growing setback from its fellow citizens, and officials from the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Organization. officials urged Tanzania to cooperate.
Burundi’s previous government under late President Pierre Nkurunziza had also been criticized for not taking COVID-19 seriously. But last year, current President Evariste Ndayishimiye described the virus as Burundi’s “worst enemy”.
Last month, he told a religious meeting in the political capital, Gitega, that “we are seeing new cases of COVID-19 because God is punishing us” for not keeping vows to serve the country without corruption. .
When leaders fail to keep such promises, “the whole family must be punished,” he said.