Can Fruits Be Coronavirus-Positive? The Curious Case Of Tarzanian Papayas And Coronavirus Test Kits

Chandran |May 05, 2020

Coronavirus test kits have been scarce during this pandemic. The nation of Tanzania received them as donations but do they even work properly? The answer is no because they yield wrong results, claiming that a goat and papaya are infected with the virus.

Tanzania's president expressed his doubts about imported coronavirus test kits. To confirm his suspicions, he sent out samples retrieved from goats and papaya. And then we have it: the tests say they’re nCoV-positive. On May 4, Tanzanian president John Magufuli announced that he has ordered homeland security authorities to test out the coronavirus test kits that the country had previously imported. However, his approach was a little… unconventional.

Tarzania Coronavirus test kits
Tanzania is also struggling with coronavirus.

As per his command, authorities dispersed to find non-human samples. As a result, they came up with test samples from…  a goat, a sheep, and a papaya. These samples were later on brought to Tarzania’s Health Department Laboratory, where they were properly tested with coronavirus test kits as though they were human patients. The laboratory carried out the tests without knowing that they were from fruit and animal.

coronavirus test kits 2
Can these two be coronavirus-positive?

Results were out and they show that the goat and the banana were positive with coronavirus. To this outcome, the president remarked:

“Something is wrong here. If my memory serves me correctly, I have already said that not all medical aids will bring improvements to this country, including coronavirus test kits.”

He later went on and said that the faulty kits have made many of his citizens' test result to be positive, even when they don't have the virus. Tanzania currently has 480 confirmed cases of coronavirus, among which 18 has died. Surprisingly, 167 patients recovered, which is impressive considering that the country is under-developed and has poor medical facilities. However, now that many test kits turn out to had been giving false results, it is very likely that those statistics are also incorrect.

Corona Tanzarnia coronavirus test kits.
President Magufili is unhappy about the kits.

>>> Suggested for you: Coronavirus In India: The Poor Get Free Test & Treatment Of COVID-19

President John Magufuli revealed that all of these kits are from abroad. However, he did not specify from which country, as well as the initial reasons why the Tanzanian government rose suspicions of them. Catherine Sungura, Head of Tanzania's Health Department Public Relations Office, assured in a statement from yesterday that people involved received a suspension from their post for further investigations. They include the Laboratory President and its Quality Control President. They established a committee of 10 people for the investigation of the laboratory and people involved in the testing and importing, as well as the sample-retrieving process.

Tarzania Coronavirus test kits
Tanzania doesn't regularly update on its Coronavirus situation.

On Saturday, May 3, president Magufili has also fired the Head of Medical Supply Purchasing Department. However, his removal from the post is without a reason. This Department is responsible for purchasing and distributing medicines and medical equipment to hospitals all throughout Tanzania. Even though having only 18 casualties, it still brought Tanzania to the top of the list for countries in Eastern Africa with most cases. However, real figures can be much higher, given the fact that the last report on Tanzanian death tolls is from more than a week ago. Unlike many other African countries, Tanzania has been secretive on the statistics regarding coronavirus casualties.

Coronavirus test kits
If the current trend continues, this is the dire outcome that African can expect.

Furthermore, the reason why the number of infected cases and casualties of Africa is much lower than that of Europe and the U.S is simple. Not many people on this continent receive testing due to the severe shortage of kits. Out of 1 million people, only 500 can receive testing. Analysts estimate that if the status quo remains unchanged, dire consequences would follow. At the end of this pandemic, Tanzania would have casualties of approximately 112,000 people if the contraction rate persists. Check out the video report of this case below. If you don't want to miss out on the latest updates on news and celebrities, visit us at Starbiz regularly! Cheers!!

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