October 20, 2020
October 20, 2020

Makerere University laboratory on the spot over fake Covid-19 test results



Authorities at Makerere University laboratory have denied faking Covid-19 results and promised to make a formal response to President Museveni accusations today.

Asked whether some of the 679 confirmed cases were fake, Prof Moses Joloba, the head of Makerere laboratory that is testing Coronavirus said, “these are institutional issues,” reiterating that, “It is not true but it was said by the President so we shall find how to deal with it.”

President Museveni on Thursday while speaking during the budget reading event, accused Makerere University laboratory that is doing coronavirus testing of faking test results.

Mr Museveni said the incorrect results from Makerere lab could have been caused by work overload.

“Some of the 679 confirmed cases were classified as positive when they are not by a laboratory in Makerere because they were careless. Apparently there were a few people working there and probably got tired,” he said.

Before the President complained about Covid-19 results from Makerere laboratory, some patients” who were affected by the suspected wrong results were complaining.

A “patient” who was admitted to Gulu Regional Referral Hospital after testing “positive” for coronavirus a week ago, said he got a text message on Monday saying he was negative again for coronavirus and was discharged.

Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the senior public relations officer at the Ministry of Health when contacted, said the ministry will address the matter today.

“We are working on the response which we shall issue on Friday,” Mr Ainebyoona said.

Government in April gave the Makerere University laboratory a nod to start testing for coronavirus following assessment by technocrats from the health ministry.

According to the health ministry, the laboratory was assessed and they found sufficient equipment required to test for Covid-19. The Ministry also examined medical workers in the lab in terms of skills, number and their safety.

Prof Pontiano Kaleebu, the director Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), said in April that they assess the capability of the laboratories to do accurate tests before approving them.

The Makerere University laboratory has been at the center stage of testing for the virus especially during the community surveillance.

The Makerere based laboratory has also supported government facilities like the UVRI with diagnostic kits when shortage hit the country.

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