Madrid- Shaimaa Tahtawy
The Chinese embassy in Spain said Spain had bought unlicensed coronavirus testing devices, noting that these kits do function properly, citing that the tests are 30% sensitive, while the results should be 80%.
Fernando Simon, head of Spain’s Health Emergency Coordination Center, has admitted the mistake, saying that some 9,000 coronavirus testing devices, out of a total 340,000 kits, which were purchased by the Health Ministry, were discovered to be invalid at arrival.
Simon has pointed out that the Health Ministry has other suppliers of the coronavirus testing kits, noting that as soon as the Spanish labs had discovered the error the ministry forced the company to replace the devices.
The Spanish newspaper El Pais said the first testing devices Spain had received did not function properly, citing that the devices did not detect positive cases of COVID-19 as expected.
For its part, the Chinese embassy in Madrid said that the Spanish government had ignored recommendations of China’s Trade Ministry, which provided it with a list of classified suppliers. The company which provided Spain with the bad devices was not in the list, the Chinese embassy said, adding that the company was not licensed the Chinese authorities.
Spain’s Health Ministry unveiled on Wednesday a deal to buy 5.5 million rapid testing devices, which will be handed over gradually. Health Minister Salvador Illa said the wrong tests were detected in the state of Madrid.