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Tanzania national laboratory director suspended after Magufuli doubts Covid-19 results

By Saada Hassan | May 4th 2020
Tanzania's Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Seniors and Children Ummy Ally Mwalimu.

The Director of the National Health Laboratory and the head of quality control in Tanzania have been suspended with immediate effect.

This move comes a day after President John Pombe Magufuli said that he did not trust Covid-19 results from the Country’s national Laboratory.

In a statement, the Minister of Health Ummy Mwalimu directed Dr Nyambura Moremi and Jacob Lusekelo to step aside pending further investigations.

Further, the minister formed a committee of nine members who will spearhead investigations on the conduct of the national laboratory most especially in the handling of the Covid-19 samples.

The committee will be led by Professor Eligius Lyamuya from Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences.
The team will be expected to deliver timely results to the ministry of health by May 13, 2020.

While addressing citizens on Sunday during the swearing-in of the new Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs Mwigulu Nchemba, Magufuli said there could be a serious credibility problem with the issue of coronavirus testing.

“We took samples from sheep, pawpaw and engine oil without them knowing and we gave them human names,” said Magufuli. These samples, he claimed had tested positive for the disease.

Magufuli has further maintained that he will not lock down any part of Tanzania due to the raging pandemic and urged politicians to stop taking advantage of the situation to score political points.

From reported data, Tanzania has recorded 480 confirmed cases, 167 recovered and 18 deaths so far.

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