According to the Chinese embassy in Madrid, Spain, the Spanish Government had bought several faulty COVID-19 testing kits from an unlicensed and unauthorized company based in China. For mass testing the country's COVID-19 infection rate, the Spanish government purchased the kits from a firm Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology.
Spain is just behind Italy for the COVID-19 death rate with several deaths and thousands infected. Spain's current death toll is over 4,089 from coronavirus.
Spain was all set to roll out about 640,000 rapid testing kits bought from companies in China and South Korea this week but due to around 9,000 kits failing to meet specifications, the kits had to be returned.
The Chinese embassy said the Spanish government had purchased the items from an unlicensed company. The country now supposedly feels the pressure built by COVID-19 pandemic and knows somewhere that it is collapsing under the weight of patients.
'Useless test kits'
According to investigation in laboratories, it was found out that the new rapid testing kits only correctly identify positive patients 30 percent of the time.
This means that out of 10 patients; seven will be tested incorrectly. The tests are supposed to have an 80 percent success rate.
A source told a Spanish newspaper, "They don't detect positive cases as expected."
A microbiologist who analysed the nasal swab kits said that using these test kits certainly doesn't make sense. Madrid - the epicenter of Spain's coronavirus tsunami - has now stopped using the tests.
The Chinese embassy said, "The Chinese ministry of commerce offered Spain a list of certified providers, which did not include Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology. Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology has not yet been licensed by the Chinese National Medical Products Administration to sell its products."
Spain returns test kits
The head of Spain's public health emergency department Fernando Simon stated that the first batch of the kits coming in from China did not work as expected and are being returned, he, however, did not name the company.
The Spanish association of microbiologists (SEIMC) warned that the testing kits only had a 30 percent accuracy level. SEIMC spokeswoman María del Mar Tomás was reported as saying that with this level of accuracy, it is impossible to put them into routine use.