The UK’s 3.5 Million Chinese-Made Coronavirus Antibody Tests ‘Not Good Enough’ For Use

ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images

The 3.5 million coronavirus antibody test kits that the U.K. ordered from China are “not good enough” for widespread use, the Independent reported Monday.

The tests did not pass the evaluation stage and health officials reportedly said that the tests were only able to identify immunity in people who had been severely sick with the coronavirus, and thus were “not good enough to be worth rolling out in very large scale,” according to the Independent

The Independent also reported that the  U.K.’s health secretary Matt Hancock said that the antibody tests failed to meet required levels of accuracy. 

“At least one in 10 people who test positive on the antibody test (and are therefore considered to have immunity) will be ‘false positive’ and will not have immunity,” an Institute of Biomedical Science statement said regarding the millions of antibody tests the U.K. had purchased. 


Sample testing devices used in diagnosing the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.K.’s experience with faulty test kits sent from China is not an anomaly, and comes after complaints from countries like the Czech Republic, Spain, and Turkey about the accuracy of the Chinese-made tests. 

The Turkish government stopped using Chinese-made test kits and reported they were only 30 to 35% accurate. Similarly, Spain’s medical personnel reported an 80% failure rate and switched back to former testing methods, while the Czech Republic reported false positive and false negative results. 

The Netherlands also recalled around 600,000 Chinese masks out of a shipment of 1.3 million after they failed to meet quality standards.

The Chinese government claimed that the company Spain and the Czech Republic had purchased the tests from did not have a license. (RELATED: Here’s A List Of Countries That Received Faulty Coronavirus Medical Supplies From China)