According to local Czech news site Expats.cz, China supplied Spain and the Czech Republic faulty coronavirus testing kits.
150,000 testing kits were supplied by China, but 80% of those were reported to be giving out inaccurate results.
The kits are designed to give results in 10 to 15 minutes, but too much errors made the Czech Republic decide to just momentarily rely on conventional laboratory tests which they do at least 900 times a day.
The country’s Health Ministry paid $546,000 for 100,000 of the test kits, while the other 50,000 was paid by the Interior Ministry.
But Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said that the kits are not completely useless, and can still be of help “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,” said Hamacek.
Meanwhile, Spain has the second-highest number of fatalities in the world after Italy, with more than 56,000 infected people and more than 4,000 coronavirus deaths. According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, the kits from company Bioeasy only had a 30% accuracy rate when determining whether someone has the virus.
The director of Spain’s Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón, said Spain tested 9,000 of the test kits and will return them based on their high error rate. The Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology then decided to cancel the utilization of those faulty kits.
Furthermore, the Chinese embassy in Spain claimed that the Bioeasy test kits were not part of the usual products that China supplies to other countries.
Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology apologized following the claims of Spain and the Czech Republic. Bioeasy promised to supply new kits so “patients get the best diagnostics” and to “ensure the test kits’ sensitivity and specificity”.
“As it [is a] rapid test kit, following the protocol is very important,” Bioeasy added.
Spain’s health ministry already asked Bioeasy to replace the kits.
“The government purchased the products from a national supplier, which were imported from China and CE marked. The Ministry of Health verified the reliability of the national supplier.”
Bioeasy manager Zhu Hai said the reports are “untrue”, and that the company will give a more detailed explanation later. Bioeasy also claims that the test kits were up to code and standard.
“The production export of our CE products to Spain has been done according [to] regulations,” the statement said. “All Bioeasy Covid-19 rapid test [kits] are officially CE-IVD (in vitro diagnostic medical devices) approved, so we are free to [export] and sell in [the EU].”
Bioeasy had already supplied 420,000 test kits to at least 10 countries, including Italy, Qatar, Ukraine, and South Korea, and is expected to produce 5 million more.
The Philippines is also a recipient of Chinese PPEs. The Chinese Embassy confirmed that thousands of surgical masks, personal protective equipment and test kits arrived in Manila on Saturday.
The Chinese Embassy tweeted saying the Philippines received 100,000 COVID-19 test kits, 100,000 surgical masks, 10,000 N95 masks and 10,000 sets of personal protective equipment.