…...Pawpaw, goat, quail samples test positive
IN a shocking revelation, President John Magufuli on Sunday said samples of a pawpaw, goat and quail tested positive for coronavirus at the Government Chemist Laboratory.
Non-human samples were submitted for Covid-19 testing at the facility in a deliberate move by State agencies sought to establish the efficiency of the coronavirus testing kits and the accuracy of the results issued by the laboratory.
Shockingly, some of the tests came out positive, others inconclusive and undetermined, revealed the President at a brief swearing-in ceremony of new Minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba.
He eventually directed the newly-sworn in minister to launch the investigation on the matter and establish where the problem stems from.
It was yet another Anti-Covid 19 masterpiece by the Head of State, who addressed the nation from Chato District, Geita Region.
According to President Magufuli, the government took measures to test the efficiency of the facility in testing the Coronavirus and used different samples such as car oil, animals, birds and fruits.
The samples were given names of human beings and submitted to the laboratories without the knowledge of the technicians at the centre.
The President commended the recently appointed Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender and Elderly and Children, Prof Mabula Mchembe for orchestrating the move.
“We have noticed a lot of controversies there, with this move, we have all reasons to doubt the kits that they might be tampered and here, there is a need to launch an investigation on whether there is a criminality and more so.
If there is any among our people who was involved in any conspiracy should be held accountable, the law should take it's part,” he noted.
As of last week, Tanzania had recorded a total of 480 cases of Coronavirus, with 167 patients beating off the viral disease, while 16 have succumbed to the contagion. It means there are 297 active cases.
President Magufuli who is a scientist by profession showed great concern on the accuracy of the testing kits, saying there was no way that a sample expertly drawn from a pawpaw, goat and quail could come out positive.
Since the testing machines were imported, Dr Magufuli reiterated the call to all Tanzanians to bear in mind that not all the aids given to the country have good intentions.
He wondered if local authorities took initiative to test the kits in order to establish if they were reliable and safe.
“I wonder why the head of the laboratory didn’t do that earlier," he said as he insisted on the shocking Covid-19 test results."There must be a problem somewhere and on this, I know what I’m talking about because I’m a scientist."
He also urged other countries, using similar testing kits especially in Africa, to do the same, insisting the results in their laboratories would prove his words. President Magufuli called upon Tanzanians to remain calm, strong and united, noting the situation isn’t worse as portrayed by a section of ill-intentioned politicians, activists and foreign media.
“We should stop panicking and worrying too much, life should go on, and the government is working hard to curb the situation. I have spoken to the government of Madagascar about their newly found medicine and we would likely send a plane there to pick up the medicine,” said Dr Magufuli.
Dr Magufuli insisted on local solutions in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and challenged higher education learning institutions to conduct studies on Covid-19 pandemic and suggest possible ways to curb it based on the country's environment.
On the other hand, Dr Magufuli who presides as the chairman of Southern African Development Community (SADC), said he yesterday spoke to President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa who is the Chairman of African Union (AU) on the possibility of convincing global financial institutions to issue grants instead of loans to developing countries as part of their anti Covid-19 support.
He said the financial institutions should also consider offering loan repayment relief to developing countries, including extension of grace periods to enable the countries to focus their resources in the fight against the contagion.
"They shouldn’t take advantage of the crisis to loan the poor countries," he said. President Magufuli said he also held talks with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Saturday and shared experiences on Covid-19 responses.
President Magufuli, meanwhile, asked the reinstated minister, Dr Nchemba to immediately embark on his new tasks and make sure that he continues the good work by his predecessor, the late Dr Augustine Mahiga. He recounted the great contribution of Dr Mahiga to the government and his services to the country, saying he was an outstanding performer, who was equally highly disciplined.
"Despite his (old) age, he was very kind and obedient, taking kindly whatever he was asked to do, even when I called him at midnight and asked him to travel, he would wake up and proceed to the airport with no problem, he really loved his job and country, we have lost a great man,” he recalled.
The president l, however, was confident that Dr Nchemba would meet the expectations and somehow fill the void left behind by the fallen diplomat, Dr Mahiga, saying that the majority of his young appointees have not let him down.
“Go and do your job effectively, don’t listen to what people would say, you just need to stay focused and work hard, and I wish you all the best,” said the president.