COVID-19 CRISIS: Magufuli now dismisses testing accuracy as regional spotlight shines on Tanzania Coronavirus infection trends

Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has dismissed as faulty the coronavirus test kits being used in his country, saying they had returned positive results on samples taken from a goat, a jackfruit and a pawpaw.

Mr. Magufuli, a chemist has previously asked Tanzanians to just pray to God to save them from the Coronavirus.

In video, President Magufuli says he he had instructed Tanzanian security forces to check the quality of the kits that had been imported from abroad.

He said they had randomly obtained several non-human samples, including from a pawpaw, a goat and a sheep, but had assigned them human names and ages.

These samples were then submitted to Tanzania’s laboratory to test for the coronavirus, with the lab technicians left deliberately unaware of their origins.

Samples from the pawpaw and the goat tested positive for COVID-19, he said, adding this meant it was likely that some people were being tested positive when in fact they were not infected by the coronavirus.

“There is something happening. I said before we should not accept that every aid is meant to be good for this nation,” Mr Magufuli is quoted in the video as saying, adding the kits should be investigated.

Some of the test kits were donated by Chinese businessman Jack Ma while others were imported from abroad.

Most of African countries are using imported kits but some like Uganda have developed own kits.

He also castigated foreign media that pick on Tanzania instead of focusing on the infections in their countries where COVID-19 has killed tens of thousands of people.

President Magufuli said on Sunday, 03 May 2020 that he was considering the restart of Tanzania Premier League after a six-week break, occasioned by the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr. Magufuli said he was only awaiting advice from his advisors on the way forward.

“I propose that we must restart our league matches but people must watch it on Television. I am only waiting for experts to advise me accordingly so that the league can proceed,” he was quoted by The Citizen.

Tanzania registered its first Covid-19 cases on March 16. Since then, the number of confirmed cases has risen to 480. Out of the number, 167 have healed and allowed to rejoin their relatives back home while 16 have died.

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Abitegeka Gerald

The News Editor ,Reporter at Kagadi Kibaale community Radio

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