Home Opinion Frank Short Testing kits for diagnosing coronavirus and protective equipment for health officials engaged...

Testing kits for diagnosing coronavirus and protective equipment for health officials engaged in tackling the threat posed by the infectious disease2 min read

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Dear Editor,

Please consider this letter.

In Papua New Guinea the Prime Minister, James Marape, said the country was desperate to get testing kits to test local people that were suspected of contracting coronavirus.  He said a batch of testing kits was awaited from New Zealand.

In the Solomon Islands, Mr. Marape’s counterpart, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, also spoke last week about awaiting test kits from China.  The Prime Minister did not say whether his government had placed an order for face masks and other protective gear for front line medical staff such as doctors, nurses, care workers and hospital personnel.

 Writing in the Guardian yesterday, Sam Jones, reporting from Madrid in Spain said, quote:

 “The Spanish government has withdrawn 9,000 Chinese-made coronavirus testing kits from use after it emerged that they had an accurate detection rate of just 30%.

“Like other countries struggling to diagnose and treat the virus, Spain has looked to China for rapid testing kits equipment and much-needed supplies, and announced this week that it would spend €432m on tests, masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment.

However, a batch of Chinese-made kits bought by Spanish health authorities a few weeks ago has been pulled after they were discovered to be unreliable and the Chinese government said they had been made by a company that did not appear on its list of authorised manufacturers.

“In a statement on Thursday, Spain’s health ministry said it would be returning the kits, but stressed that they had not been bought directly from the Chinese manufacturer but from a supply company in Spain that had purchased them in China and had provided the necessary accompanying paperwork.

“The first tests on the rapid testing kits were carried out simultaneously by a hospital in Madrid and by the Carlos III Health Institute, and as soon as their low sensitivity was discovered, they were withdrawn,” said the ministry. “The supplier has been contacted and replacement tests will be provided.”

Spain follows EU regulations, which mean that if a product is certified to conform to European standards, it can be bought for use in Spain.

The Chinese Government issues a list of authorized manufacturers of rapid testing kits.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

www.solomonislandsinfocus.com

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