The United Kingdom government’s new testing chief has admitted that none of the 3.5 million Coronavirus antibody tests ordered from China is fit for widespread use, reports the Time.
Professor John Newton, who has been recently appointed to oversee the testing for Covid-19 in the UK, has said that the Chinese antibody tests were only able to identify immunity in people who had been severely sick with Coronavirus.
Reportedly, the tests did not pass the evaluation stage, and he was quoted saying that they were “not good enough to be worth rolling out on a very large scale”. He further added that the UK was no longer hoping to buy millions of kits off the shelf.
The testing chief also added that the government scientists are instead hoping to work with the private companies to improve the performance of the antibody tests. Newton said he was “optimistic” that commercial partners willing to work with scientists who had been evaluating the tests would be able to improve them.
Prof Newton, director of public health improvement for Public Health England (PHE) said three “mega labs” for testing NHS staff was his top priority and did not expect university and commercial labs to be able to help.
He said, “We are not relying on lots of people coming forward to help us to achieve what’s required and we shouldn’t get too distracted by that”.
Antibody testing is regarded as crucial to eventually lifting the lockdown measures in place across the country as it could potentially identify those people who are immune to the Wuhan Coronavirus.
Just weeks back, it was reported that key components ordered from an overseas supplier were found contaminated with coronavirus leading to a massive setback to the UK to ramp up mass coronavirus testing.
The export of faulty testing kits, medical equipment by China has become a major issue across the world after the equipment exported by the Chinese have found to be substandard in most of the countries it exported to.
After exporting the deadly Wuhan Coronavirus to the world, China has now been caught dumping faulty Corona testing kits in various countries, which are now responsible for delivering misleading results during the tests.
Spain was the first to flag the concerns about third-rated Chinese medical equipment. Spain had taken a measure to withdraw at least 9,000 Chinese-made kits after realising that they had only 30 per cent accuracy. 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 5.5 million rapid test kits from China recently, which turned out to be faulty.
Similar results had also emerged from the Czech Republic. It was reported that as much as 80 per cent of the 150,000 portable Wuhan Coronavirus rapid test kits “donated” by China were faulty, forcing healthcare workers in the country to rely on conventional laboratory tests.
Later, Turkey had also decided to discard Chinese-made coronavirus rapid testing kits after finding out that they gave inaccurate results.
With the United Kingdom being the latest nation to voice concern about the faulty Chinese kits, the pressure on Chinese establishment will further increase added to the already criticism against China for its act of exporting coronavirus to other parts of the world.
The United Kingdom has been one of the highest affected countries due to the Chinese pandemic COVID-19, which is evident with both the country’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus.