Tanzania suspends laboratory head after president questions coronavirus tests


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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-tanzania/tanzania-suspends-laboratory-head-after-president-questions-coronavirus-tests-idUSKBN22G295

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania has suspended the head of its national health laboratory in charge of testing for the coronavirus and ordered an investigation, a day after President John Magufuli questioned the tests’ accuracy.

Magufuli said on Sunday the imported test kits were faulty as they had returned positive results on a goat and a pawpaw — among several non-human samples submitted for testing, with technicians left deliberately unaware of their origins.

He did not say where the kits had been imported from or why the authorities had been suspicious of the results.

Catherine Sungura, acting head of communications at the ministry of health, said in a statement on Monday the director of the laboratory and its quality assurance manager had been immediately suspended “to pave way for the investigation”.

Sungura said a 10-person committee had been formed to investigate the laboratory’s operations, including its process of collecting and testing samples.

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