After leaving the whole world to battle the deadly Chinese virus, China has allegedly supplied faulty Covid-19 test kits to Spain and the Czech Republic. Spain, which is one of the worst-hit countries across the globe by the Wuhan Coronavirus with the total number of deaths surpassing 4000, had bought rapid test kits worth 5.5 million from China recently, which turned out to be faulty.
As per a report in ANI, Spanish health authorities have warned that the rapid coronavirus test kits that the country purchased from China are faulty as they are not consistently detecting positive cases. It said that the accuracy levels of these kits are below 30 per cent, making them unusable. In view of the incredibly high error rate of these kits, Spain has announced that it is sending back the first batch of Covid-19 testing kits that it received from China.
As per El Pais, the widely circulated Madrid-based Spanish daily, several microbiology laboratories of large hospitals in the country have confirmed that they do not work as they should. “They do not detect the positive cases as expected,” a source working at a Spanish microbiology lab told El Pais, a Madrid-based Spanish daily. a source who participated in the tests said on the condition of anonymity. One of the microbiologists who has analyzed the Chinese test stated, “With that value, it does not make sense to use these tests.”
The experts who have evaluated these detection kits are of the view that they will have to continue using the current test, the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) that detects the RNA of the virus in an exudate nasopharyngeal sample(a stick is inserted through the nose or through the mouth to collect it). However, this process is long and cumbersome.
The report states that the Chinese Embassy in Spain was, however, quick to defend China. It said that the batch of faulty kits was not part of the 423-million Euro deal that the two countries recently signed, which includes 5.5 million testing kits, but had come from an unlicensed provider.
Similar results have emerged from the Czech Republic. It was reported by Czech news site Expats.cz that as much as 80 per cent of the Wuhan Covid-19 rapid test kits “donated” by China were faulty, forcing healthcare workers in the country to rely on conventional laboratory tests. While China tried to give the impression that it had ‘donated’ the test kits, in reality, it was bought and paid for by the Czech government.
Czech health ministry reportedly paid about USD 568,000 for 100,000 of the kits while the country’s interior ministry paid for the rest.
According to Pavla Svrcinova, hygienist for the Moravian-Silesian Region, the region will continue to rely on conventional laboratory testing. “We checked them at the University Hospital in Ostrava, but unfortunately the error rate was quite high. So now we are waiting for the results of further testing across the country, and we are considering using them only with people reach the end of their quarantine and have never tested positive, because it works with antibodies,” she said. “We tested those who searched for a sampling point. Fortunately, we were so farsighted that samples were immediately compared with traditional tests, and that just proved the error rate of the Chinese tests,” she added.