Alfred Mutua to use pawpaws in Machakos Covid-19 mass testing
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Alfred Mutua to use pawpaws in Machakos Covid-19 mass testing

Alfred Mutua

Alfred Mutua, the Machakos Governor is looking to adopt Tanzania President John Magufuli’s technique of using plants and animal samples to scrutinise Covid-19 testing kits.

There has been a number of concerns about the authenticity of some of the Covid-19 testing kits which have provided mixed results.

Magufuli randomly obtained several non-human samples, including from pawpaw, a goat and a sheep, but had assigned them human names and ages.

John Magufuli
John Magufuli

Samples from the pawpaw and the goat tested positive for Covid-19 with Magufuli noting that Tanzania’s spike in positive cases might not be accurate.

Mutua stated that he is willing to adopt Magufuli’s technique to put the tests to scrutiny after the county rolled out mass testing.

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“It’s a concern, you know President Magufuli’s test on pawpaw, goats and cows, it’s something that I’m willing to do in Machakos.
“I’m thinking that one of these days I’ll go to the shamba (farm) and test a few cows, chicken and a few mangoes and send those samples to several labs, the lab in KEMRI and South Africa to quantify and make sure the tests are okay,” said Mutua.

Alfred Mutua
Alfred Mutua

The Machakos governor noted that he is willing to involve the media in having the testing kits probed.

“I would like to do it, actually if we can collaborate with media houses, we would like to do it together then we package those samples then send them to different laboratories, we have several laboratories in Kenya and outside.

“We can send those samples to different places and compare the results, if they all come differently then we’ll panic but if they are all the same we will know we are on the right track,” said Mutua.

The former government spokesman also revealed plans to bump up mass testing in Machakos after the program was rolled out in Nairobi and Mombasa.

Alfred Mutua
Alfred Mutua

“We are capable of something called run, so we can do 33 tests per run which is just about an hour and a half, so our testing capacity is about 330 to 400 in a day, working basically day and night.

“We want to build it up to get to 500 in a day. So far we have completed about 33 tests which were the experimental ones that we were doing, today we expect to do about 100 tests as we beef up,” said Mutua.

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