hile China has been eagerly trumpeting its own expertise, generosity, and merchandise in helping other countries manage their coronavirus crises, that image threatens to be undermined by some familiar issues — fake and faulty goods.
Spain has announced that it is sending back the first batch of Covid-19 testing kits that it received from China due to the incredibly high error rate of the kits.
According to Spanish health authorities, the accuracy level of these kits was under 30 percent, making them, of course, unusable.
The Chinese embassy has responded quickly to the news, explaining that the batch of faulty kits was not part of the 423 million euro deal that the two countries recently signed, which includes 5.5 million testing kits, but had instead come from an unlicensed provider.
That company, Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology, was not on the list of certified providers that China offered to Spain and has not even been licensed to sell its products by the Chinese National Medical Products Administration, the embassy said.
Spain had ordered 340,000 kits from the company.
Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic, 80 percent of the fast coronavirus testing kits from China have been found to deliver false results.
These types of tests are designed to deliver quicker results but are typically less accurate than other ways of testing — though, ideally, not quite so inaccurate.
The shipment of 150,000 kits arrived in Prague from Shenzhen on March 18. The Czech health ministry reportedly paid about $568,000 for 100,000 of the kits while the country’s interior ministry paid for the rest.
Czech officials have downplayed the low accuracy rate of the testing kits, suggesting that the kits can still be used in some situations, like when the virus is in its later stages.
“In my opinion, this is not about some scandalous revelation that it is not working,” saidDeputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Jan Hamacek.