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State house in Tanzania has introduced temperature checks and hand sanitisation as the country adopts the use of masks as some of the measures to limit the spread of coronavirus.

On Monday, President Samia Suluhu Hassan was receiving foreign envoys, who were first screened.

The envoys were all required to wear face masks and the photos taken at the time also showed the president wearing one.

President Samia’s predecessor, John Magufuli – who died in March – had always refused to wear a mask, and denied the serious of coronavirus.

On Friday, President Samia, who was sworn in less than two months ago, was seen wearing a face mask for the first time in Tanzania at a public event, saying it was necessary to protect the elderly people she was meeting.

This happened a few days after her visit to Kenya where she wore a mask, joking that mask-wearing was akin to a goat being muzzled by a herder to stop it eating crops – not necessarily pleasant, but necessary.

She had served as Mr Magufuli’s deputy during his time in office – and his administration had scoffed at global warnings about Covid-19 and downplayed its threat.

Mr Magufuli advocated steam-inhalation and other ways to boost immunity against Covid-19.

The East African nation has not issued statistics about infection rates for a year.

Since coming to power, President Samia has formed a committee of experts to advise her about the status of Covid-19 in Tanzania and the necessary steps to take to keep people safe.

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