Date: March 26, 2020
By: Mairead McArdle
The majority of rapid test coronavirus test kits supplied by China to Spain and the Czech Republic are faulty, local news outlets reported.
Up to 80 percent of the 150,000 portable, quick coronavirus test kits China delivered to the Czech Republic earlier this month were faulty, according to local Czech news site Expats.cz. The tests can produce a result in 10 or 15 minutes but are usually less accurate than other tests. Because of the high error rate, the country will continue to rely on conventional laboratory tests, of which they perform about 900 a day.
The country’s Health Ministry paid $546,000 for 100,000 of the test kits, while the Interior Ministry paid for the other 50,000.
Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Jan Hamacek downplayed the discovery that many of the tests were faulty, blaming it on a possible wrong methodology and saying the kits can still be used “when the disease has been around for some time,” or when “someone returns after quarantine after fourteen days.”
“In my opinion, this is not about some scandalous revelation that it is not working,” Hamacek said.
Meanwhile, Spain, which has more than 56,000 infected people and more than 4,000 coronavirus deaths, the second-highest number of fatalities in the world after Italy, found that the rapid coronavirus test kits it purchased from Chinese company Bioeasy only correctly identified 30 percent of virus cases, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais. [FULL STORY]