Tanzania’s government on Monday suspended the director and a senior official of the national laboratory responsible for coronavirus testing after President John Magufuli denounced irregularities at the facility.
Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu ordered the suspensions and formed a committee of nine experts to investigate the laboratory’s testing system.
Magufuli has consistently downplayed the impact of the virus. On Sunday, he revealed that he had secretly had animals, fruits, and vehicle oil tested at the laboratory and they all tested positive for COVID-19.
Magufuli cast doubt on the credibility of laboratory equipment and technicians and questioned official data on the pandemic. He called on authorities to investigate what he suspected is a “dirty game” in the laboratory.
“The equipment or people may be compromised and sometimes it can be sabotage,” Magufuli said.
Tanzania has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in East Africa as their cases stand at 480 and 18 deaths.