The late Tanzania’s President John Magufuli.

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has died aged 61, the country’s vice-president Samia Suluhu Hassan has announced.

She said in an address on state television that the president died on Wednesday from heart complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam.

President Magufuli had not been seen in public for more than two weeks, and rumours have been circulating about his health.

Opposition politicians said last week that he had contracted Covid-19, but this has not been confirmed.

Magufuli was one of Africa’s most prominent coronavirus sceptics, and called for prayers and herbal-infused steam therapy to counter the virus.

“It is with deep regret that I inform you that today… we lost our brave leader, the president of the Republic of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli,” Vice-President Hassan said in the announcement.

She said there would be 14 days of national mourning and flags would fly at half mast.