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Coronavirus: 'rapid tests' from China not working properly

The Chinese Embassy has confirmed that the tests analysed in Spain were not purchased from an official supplier and that products are still not en route.


Like throwing an unwanted jug of cold water over the fight against the spread of coronavirus. The long-awaited ‘rapid’ tests do not appear to have the expected reliability. This has been stated by several laboratories that have already tested the kits that have arrived from China.

Covid-19 'rapid' tests not working

As published by Spanish paper El País on Thursday, the rapid tests, manufactured by the company Bioeasy, have been proven to have a sensitivity of 30%, when it should be greater than 80%.

"With that return, there is no point in using these tests," said one of the microbiologists who was responsible for analysing these tests.

On the back of this reaction, the Chinese embassy in Spain has communicated through its official Twitter profile that the company Bioeasy "has not yet obtained the official license from the National Administration of Medical Products of China to sell its products." They also confirm that “the donations made by the Government of China and other entities like Alibaba do not include products supplied by Bioeasy".

There was also confirmation that the order placed by Spain was ‘in progress’ but that the products had not yet left China. The list of classified suppliers given by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce did not include Bioeasy.

The Spanish government announced on Wednesday that it had purchased 5.5 million rapid tests as part of the medical equipment worth 432 million euros from China. The idea was to use these tests to help identify and isolate those that were positive as quickly as possible. If the test returned a negative or invalid result, they would require the longer PCR test, but with a reduced amount of these being needed the wider picture could be managed quicker. With the news that they are not working correctly, this doesn’t now look possible until new, approved options are presented.

In the knowledge that no test is better than a bad test, and that there had always been an expectation that some offerings would not be up to the task, the government will continue to undertake stringent analysis on any tests that are presented to them for use before taking to the public.

Follow all the latest news on the coronavirus crisis with AS English.


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