May 6, 2020 | By Ben Cost | New York Post |
“Coronavirus test kits have aroused suspicions in Salaam, Tanzania after results taken from goats and fruit came back positive in what the country’s leader has dubbed a “technical error.” Tanzanian president John Magufuli memorably raised eyebrows earlier this week for touting an anti-COVID herbal tonicdespite no scientific evidence that it cured the coronavirus.
Magufuli claimed he tried to vet the quality of the disease-detection equipment, which was reportedly imported from abroad, by having his security forces obtain random samples from goats, sheep and a local fruit called a pawpaw, Reuters reported. The sub-Saharan nation’s leader said he then assigned them human names and ages and delivered them to lab technicians who were purposefully unaware of their animal origins, in a bizarre blind test.
It was clear something was awry when both the goats and the pawpaw tested positive for the coronavirus. Currently Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report there’s no evidence that a fruit can contract COVID-19, although a variety of animals have recently been diagnosed with the disease, including cats, a dog and tigers at New York City’s Bronx Zoo.
“There is something happening,” Magufuli told Reuters, deeming the defective detectors proof that some people were testing positive for the disease without actually being infected. He added, “I said before we should not accept that every aid is meant to be good for this nation.”
With 480 positive cases of coronavirus and 17 deaths recorded as of Sunday, Magufuli made headlines for sending a plane to Madagascar to stock up on an unproven artemisia-based COVID “cure” that was tested on fewer than 20 people, according to the BBC. And in March, the chief of state came under fire for encouraging people to gather in large numbers to pray the virus away, Bloomberg reported.
The World Health Organization has warned that there is no proof of any cure for COVID-19 and cautioned the public against self-medicating or congregating in big crowds.”
Note: Tanzania President John Magufuli holds a doctorate in chemistry.