Nepal, Czech Republic and Philippines also find Covid-19 test kits from China faulty

Covid-19 Rapid Diagnostic Kits. (Photo courtesy: PTI)

(, Apr01’20) – Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population has instructed that the Covid-19 Rapid Diagnostic Kits imported from China by a private contractor not be used after doubts emerged about their reliability. These imports constituted up to 90% of all rapid diagnostic kits available in Nepal, reported Apr 1. Also, the Czech Republic and the Philippines have also found problems with kits imported from or donated by China faulty. Following Beijing’s angry report, Manila has been forced to eat crow for faulting the Chinese donated kits.

Nepal’s agreement for the purchase of f75,000 Rapid Diagnostic Kits from China worth $600,000 was reported to have been signed by the country’s Ministry of Health itself with the local Omni Group on Apr 25.

The report cited the Health Ministry’s expert consultant Khem Karki as saying hospitals were being told not to use the tests because there was suspicion that the kits did not meet World Health Organization (WHO) and the government’s own standards.

“We have instructed hospitals because we are unsure of the quality after receiving information that the Covid-19 test kits imported from abroad by private companies may give wrong results,” the  report quoted Karki as saying.

“The quality of some of the kits were not up to mark, and we stopped them while they were in Tibet, but the rest came to Nepal by air,” Karki was quoted as saying, adding that none of these kits had so far been used in government hospitals.

A number of other countries, especially in Europe, have recently found imports from China for use in the treatment of Covid-19 patients to be defective. These included the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey.

It has also been reported by Prague Morning Mar 31, citing hygienists, that around 80% of coronavirus test kits sent from China to the Czech Republic were faulty. The test kits were valued at $2.15 million and showed false positive and false negative results, reported Mar 31.

China implied the tests were donated, but the Czech Health Ministry said they paid around $546,000 for 100,000 test kits, was cited as reporting.

Also, on Mar 28, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire of the Philippines “declared categorically, in plainspoken language, that some of the Covid-19 test kits sent by China were only 40-percent accurate, and hence were no longer used,“ said an editorial in Apr 1.

However, refuting Vergeire, the Chinese Embassy in Manila fired off a statement the next day, saying it had “immediately checked with DOH” and got a “clarification” that the test kits donated by the Chinese government were “of high quality and standards and have no accuracy problems,” the editorial said.

The embassy was quoted as saying: “Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, China has continually provided assistance as needed to support the Philippines’ battle against the epidemic… The Chinese Embassy firmly rejects any irresponsible remarks and any attempts to undermine our cooperation in this regard.”

A chastised DOH (Department of Health) then officially retracted Vergeire’s statement. It apologized for the “confusion” and explained that the defective test kits referred to were “another brand of test kit that was proposed to be donated by a private foundation,” the editorial said.


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