The British government is seeking a whopping $20 million refund from two Chinese companies which sold them coronavirus test kits that did not work.
The two companies, which received the large installments from Downing Street, claim that their products met the European Union’s health, safety, and environmental standards.
However, the technology behind the kits sent from AllTech Biotech and Wondfo Biotech remain unproven, hanging a further question mark over the legitimacy of the COVID-19 test kits.
The United Kingdom is one of several countries to recall faulty equipment from China. At least ten countries have reported defective or contaminated equipment sent from China to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Testing kits destined for the United Kingdom, tested by a Luxembourg-based company, were found to be contaminated with the coronavirus itself.
Italy was reportedly forced to buy back protective equipment it had donated to China at the onset of the pandemic, before the Mediterranean country became overwhelmed by the coronavirus.
According to Metro, UK Public Health officials were tasked with reviewing the specifications on paper as the Foreign Office sent diplomats to China to examine the company’s products.
Moreover, part of the diplomats’ visit is also to ensure that the companies exist in the first place.
The faulty tests were touted as being game-changers in the global battle against the deadly COVID-19, which has infected over two million people worldwide, claimed tens of thousands of lives, and caused an estimated $4 trillion of economic damage to the G7 countries.
These tests sought to identify coronavirus antibodies in test subjects by extracting blood, which meant the tests could be performed at home. The commonly used antigen test only informs medical practitioners whether the patient tests positive or negative for the coronavirus–which has been unhelpful as the coronavirus can lay dormant in “cured” patients’ cells only to become reactivated and for the patient to test positive repeatedly.
South Korea reported over a hundred cases over the weekend where patients were found to have tested positive for the coronavirus after being given the all-clear.
Earlier this week, the UK recorded 861 coronavirus-related deaths in hospitals, bringing the country’s total nearer to 14,000.