03/30/2020, 16.20
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COVID-19: Chinese companies selling defective test kits abroad

Complaints come from the Philippines, Malaysia, Spain and Czechia. The accuracy of the Chinese kits is around 30-40 per cent when it should be 80 per cent. Chinese diplomats go into a defence mode. The Netherlands pulls 600,00 defective masks.


Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – More and more countries are reporting defective made-in-China quick coronavirus test kits, presently in use only in China and South Korea.

About 23 Chinese companies are selling this type of medical kits abroad. the BGI Group, China’s largest genetic research company, is producing 600,00 kits per day, up from 200,000 in February.

After claiming a “people’s victory” against the epidemic at home, the Chinese government is now sending medical supplies abroad to fight the COVID-19 virus. Many observers believe that Beijing is trying to rebuild its image after it suffered from its initial response to the crisis.

Last Saturday, Philippine authorities announced that only 40 per cent of the 100,000 test kits bought from the BGI Group and Sansure Biotech, another Chinese company, were accurate.

The following day, after a formal protest by the Chinese embassy in Manila, Philippine health authorities changed their tune, claiming that the accuracy of the kits purchased from China falls within the standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Malaysian government has complained about the poor accuracy of test kits from China. According to local media, the country's hospitals are gearing up to get the equipment from South Korea and Taiwan.

Spain and Czechia (Czech Republic) have encountered the same problem. The Spanish government said this week that it was going to return some 9,000 test kits bought from Chinese Bioeasy, citing a 30 per cent accuracy, far lower than the 80 per cent required by the US Food and Drug Administration, a standard Spain uses.

At present, Spain har ordered medical materials from China for a total of US$ 465 million, including ventilators and protective gear.

The Shenzhen stock exchange, where Bioeasy is listed, announced that it will open an investigation.

The Chinese embassy in Spain has tried to limit the damage, pointing out that the company in question has no license to export test kits, but Bioeasy claims that its products are certified for sale in Europe.

For its part, Czechia paid US$ 546,000 for 150,000 Chinese quick coronavirus test kits, 80 per cent of which were faulty.

Text kits are not the only problem. The Dutch Health Ministry said on Saturday it had recalled 600,000 face masks manufactured in China because they failed to meet safety requirements.

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