Main opposition says gov't incurred loss of 100 million liras if claims about spending on COVID-19 tests true

Turkey's main opposition CHP has said the government might have incurred a loss of 100 million liras if allegations that the Health Ministry bought over 2 million COVID-19 testing kits at a price of 9 dollars per unit in April were true. CHP MP Murat Emir said that the Health Ministry paid 9.8 Turkish Liras for each of the same test kits four months later in July.

Duvar English

Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has said the party has been hearing rumors that the Health Ministry paid 9 dollars per coronavirus test kit in April, way above what it is really worth, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Aug. 19.

The CHP said that this situation has cost the government a substantial amount of money as four months later in July, the Health Ministry paid 9.8 Turkish Liras for each of the same testing kits.

“We have been receiving information that one kit worth 9.8 Turkish liras [in July] was bought at a price of 9 dollar at that period [in April], which corresponds to 60 Turkish liras with the exchange rate level of the time period. If this claim is true, it means that six-seven times more than what should have been paid was spent on over 2 million test kits and the state might have lost up to 100 million liras,” CHP MP Murat Emir was quoted as saying by Cumhuriyet.

Emir said that at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Turkey initially imported test kits from China but later started to order them exclusively from a company called Bioeksen.

Emir said that authorities have refused to reveal how much the Health Ministry paid to Bioeksen for the test kits question. The CHP however has not given up on finding the truth behind the matter, submitting several parliamentary questions regarding the purchasing process of the test kits. These questions however have been left unanswered.

Emir said that the CHP asked the Health Ministry why it was “insistent on just one single firm” to purchase the test kits from and how much was paid to the firm.