Tanzania: COVID-19 Fake Gears - JPM Issues Tough Warning

PRESIDENT John Magufuli has warned government executives against receipt of uncertified donations, directing all support for the battle against Covid-19 be channeled through the health ministry.

Dr Magufuli said that the government appreciates the support it has been receiving from various partners but it was important for the items to be verified by experts before being used.

"Any item donated for battling the coronavirus pandemic should be channeled to the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children for verification... . this will be a safeguard against receiving equipment which are not suitable for Tanzanians," Dr Magufuli explained.

President Magufuli stated that those found guilty of donating or supplying fake gears will be subjected to criminal charges including murder.

He was speaking at the State House in Chamwino, Dodoma, yesterday, shortly after swearing in various government officials he appointed recently.

They include the Deputy Minister for the Health ministry, Dr Godwin Molel, Director General for the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Brigadier General John Mbungo and three diplomats who will represent Tanzania in Kenya, Mozambique and Algeria.

They are Major General Jacob Kingu (Algeria), John Simbachawene (Kenya) and Phaustine Kasike (Mozambique). The Head of State noted that the country had taken appropriate steps in dealing with the pandemic, resulting in the decline of the novel virus cases.

He stressed, however, that the government and the public should continue taking precautionary measures, including being cautious of various donations given to support the battle against the respiratory disease.

The Head of State explained that the government had taken various initiatives to ensure that most protective gears were produced locally.

"Currently most of face masks are being produced in the country as well as personal protective equipment for health workers; it is the right time to use the money provided by the Global Fund to produce our own protective gears," he said.

Dr Magufuli added that local production of protective equipment would create employment opportunities for Tanzanians and save money, moves that would ultimately be beneficial to the majority of Tanzanians.

He said that the government had been encouraging various partners to provide their assistance in the form of cash, to allow the country to produce its own equipment which would be tested in local laboratories.

Dr Magufuli, however, tasked the health ministry to ensure that all equipment donated for Covid-19 fight are channeled to them for verification.

He cautioned that any person who would receive equipment that would turn out to be unsuitable should face criminal charges.

The president said government executives should refrain from receiving such donations and leave the task to the Ministry of Health.

For her part, Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu commended Dr Magufuli for meaContinued 1187720001sures he had taken in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said that although coronavirus cases had declined, the public should continue taking precautionary measures to control new infections.

Ms Mwalimu, pointed out, however, that in addition to tackling the pandemic the ministry was also working hard to ensure that other vital health services were also given priority attention.

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