A member of the Turkish Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Science Committee has said that the rapid test kits purchased from China proved unreliable and therefore have not been used.
Prof. Dr. Ateş Kara said that further purchases from China will be halted. The professor made the comments on a TV program named “Gece Görüşü” aired on CNN Türk late on March 26.
“We have received the rapid test kits purchased from China and carried out an analysis [to see the accuracy of the kits]. Since they had a high error rate, we did not put them into use. This was Spain’s biggest mistake; they put them into use without first testing them. Afterwards, Spain’s health minister apologized for it,” Kara said.
Following Kara’s remarks, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca confirmed that a batch of kits shipped from China was not used, but said that the recently purchased 350,000 kits were of another type.
“The initial kits brought from China were antigen kits. We have tested them, but since we were not pleased with their results, we did not purchase more of them. We have afterwards brought antibody kits. The 350,000 rapid kits that we have brought [this week] are not antigen kits, but antibody kits,” Koca told a press conference on March 27.
Earlier this week, Koca said that Turkey received 50,000 rapid test kits from China on March 23 and would receive another 300,000 by the end this week.
Meanwhile, the Spanish government has withdrawn 9,000 Chinese-made coronavirus testing kits from use on the grounds that they had an accurate detection rate of just 30 percent. In a statement on March 26, Spain’s health ministry said it would be returning the kits.