Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan has appeared for the first time at a public event in the East African nation wearing a face mask.
Her predecessor, John Magufuli – who died in March – had always refused to wear one, and was considered a coronavirus sceptic.
Ms Samia has worn face masks outside of Tanzania – most notably this week on her two-day state visit to neighbouring Kenya.
At the event in Dar es Salaam on Friday, she was addressing an audience of more than 800 elders from across the country.
“We apologise, our lifestyle has changed, we have come here today in face masks and this is because the elderly are at a higher risk of contracting this disease, so we have to protect them,” the president said.
Since coming to power, the 61-year-old has not been afraid to show that she is prepared to take a different and more considered path than Mr Magufuli.
She has formed a committee of experts to advise her on the status of Covid-19 in the country and the necessary steps to take to keep people safe.
During her visit to Kenya she made a light-hearted comment about mask wearing – comparing it a herder muzzling a goat to stop it eating crops.