The 2 million home test kits bought by the United Kingdom from two Chinese firms, namely, AllTest Biotech and Wondfo Biotech, for a whopping $20 million have now been found to be faulty and insufficiently accurate by a laboratory at the Oxford University.
The deal was risky since the reliability of such a technology was not established. The Government had to pay the money upfront in 24 hours and collect the crates of test kits from a Chinese facility. This was supposed to be a game-changer for the UK which has come under fierce criticism for its ‘slow response’ to the Coronavirus pandemic.
However, the British officials were somehow convinced that it would work. Their enthusiasm motivated them to even promise that such kits would be available in pharmacies within 2 weeks. Now, that the Chinese test kits have been found as unreliable, they have been left unused in the storage.
A government official informed that they are is now trying to recover some of the money from the firms. Health officials have defended the move by labelling the mishap as a valuable experience. Professor of Virology at the University of Surrey said, “You can’t lift the lockdown as long as you are not testing massively. As long as the government is not testing in the community, we are going to be on lockdown.”
Britain has been conducting less than 20,000 tests per day but has promised to up the ante to 1,00,00 by the end of April. The UK has complained about the lack of major private testing companies that can help health officials perform thousands of diagnostic tests in a day, unlike Germany and the US.
The Chinese firms have blamed the British officials for not being able to comprehend the utility of the test kits. According to researchers, the test kits ordered by the UK were more complicated and inaccurate than the lab tests. The World health organisation (WHO) had warned on April 8 about the limited utility of such rapid antibody testing kits for patients.
China sold Coronavirus contaminated Test Kits to the UK
The attempt by Britain to ramp up mass coronavirus testing had earlier suffered a huge setback as key components ordered from global suppliers were found to be contaminated with coronavirus.
According to the report, the coronavirus test kits that were to be sent to the United Kingdom were found to be contaminated with COVID-19. The story came to light at a time when the UK is ramping up efforts to boost testing in the country. The country then reached out to private companies to help make test kits.
Following the detection of traces of the virus in the parts, the laboratories across the country have been warned to expect a delay. One of the suppliers – the Luxembourg-based firm Eurofins – sent an email to government laboratories in the UK warning that delivery of key components called “probes and primers” had been contaminated with coronavirus and deliveries would be delayed. The firm admitted there had been an issue and insisted other private providers had suffered the same problem.
China re-sells ‘donated’ PPEs to Italy
After selling defective masks and testing kits to the world to combat their home-grown virus, China has now reached a new low by selling back the PPEs (personal protection equipment) to Italy which the European country had originally donated as a humanitarian gesture.
As reported in Spectator magazine, China had earlier claimed that it will send PPEs to Italy, which has lately emerged as the hot spot for the Chinese coronavirus outbreak, to help it contain it. However, now the reports reveal that China had sold, and not donated, those PPEs to Italy. Not only that, China actually forced Italy to buy back the same PPEs that Italy had donated to the Communist country.