Spain Unwilling to Use “Unauthentic” Covid-19 Test Kits Made By Chinese Firm

A Spanish Research center found that Covid-19 rapid test kits made by a Chinese biotech company were not accurate enough and therefore needed to be replaced. 

According to the report of Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology, the kits were sent to Spain to ensure those kits’ “sensitivity and specificity”, so that patients can be treated with the best diagnosis of Covid 19. The company further mentioned in their statement addressing to Ministry of Health, Spain on Friday following the protocol is vital while using those rapid test kits. 

Doubts over the kits’ authenticity aroused since the number of Covid-19 cases in Spain rose sharply to 56,188 confirmed cases along with 4,089 deaths on Thursday. Number of people infected by the disease has now exceeded 468,000 and the disease has taken away the lives of 21,000 worldwide.

One of Spain’s leading research institutes, The Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) posted an update on their official website that Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology has developed nose swabs that have an accuracy less than 30%. El Pais, one of the best newspapers in Spain mentioned that Spain had been assured that the rapid test kits produced and supplied by Bioeasy could give test results with 80% accuracy whereas that was not in line with the findings of SEIMC. According to El Pais’ reports, the Madrid City Government has decided to stop the use of rapid test kits made by Bioeasy. On the other hand, health ministry has asked the Chinese biotech company to replace their supplies. The Spanish central government ordered 340,000test kits from the company.

Spanish media reports suggest that the test needed samples to collect from the nasopharynx, an area near the base of skull. Then those samples require to be diluted and deposited in a cartridge with a test strip, which would show whether the sample is positive or negative. Antigen test results can be returned in 10 to 15 minutes.  Professor Leo Poon Lit-man, a medical faculty at the University of Hong Kong opined that 80% accuracy claim for nasal swabs was confusing as such kind of a test is known to be unauthentic.

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The Chinese embassy in Spain on Thursday clarified their opinions through a Twitter announcement that Bioeasy test kits had not been approved by National Medical Products Administration, China and were not included in the list of medicals supplies to Spain by Chinese government. The message, however, turned out to be an effort to calm Spanish officials who announced that they had placed a $468 million order for Chinese medical equipment.

The Czech media had also reported some problematic consequences with the rapid test kits imported from China.