Dar es Salaam. The chairman of opposition party Chadema, Mr Freeman Mbowe, yesterday outlined his proposals in the fight against coronavirus including a call for a supplementary budget to curb the pandemic.
Mr Mbowe, whose speech was broadcast through online televisions, said the government was fighting alone without a specific budget approved by the Parliament to contain the spread of the killer virus.
President John Magufuli suspended the Uhuru Torch race and the union celebrations and directed the money, amounting to Sh1.5 billion, be spent on supporting the fight against Covid-19.
However, Mr Mbowe said that is peanut considering the magnitude of the viral pandemic, which has so far infected 480 people and killed 16 of them.
“We are in a health crisis, but unfortunately, we have no specific budget for fighting against coronavirus. Through the parliament, the government could form a contingency fund or alter expenditure through a supplementary budget,” he said.
Mr Mbowe also advised the government to open up about the disease and involve other people like the opposition parties to accelerate the fight.
He advised the government to increase testing centres countrywide as a way of identifying patients early.
He said testing centres were currently few and delaying them will make it late to contain the disease.
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa yesterday announced that the cases had reached 480, recoveries 167 and 16 deaths.
Mr Mbowe also advised the government to provide coronavirus update timely to avoid rumours, which may distort the public about the reality of the disease.
He also suggested the formation of a task-force which the government will lead in creating public awareness of the disease.
Mr Mbowe said the task force should involve different people at different levels.
He also said although the government was not ready for lockdown, citizens themselves will reach a time when they will lock themselves down.