The Philippines’ health department on Sunday apologised for comments it made a day earlier that two batches of coronavirus test kits provided by China were substandard.
Undersecretary for health Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Saturday that some of the kits made by BGI Group and Sansure Biotech were only 40 per cent accurate in diagnosing Covid-19 and that some of them would have to be discarded as a result.
China’s embassy in Manila rejected those accusations, saying the kits complied with World Health Organisation standards and that they had played “a significant role” in enabling the Philippine government to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic.
“The quality of the 2,000 test kits from BGI Group, and 100,000 nucleic acid test kits from Sansure Biotech … is very good and there does not exist any accuracy problem,” it said.
The embassy described the health department’s comments as irresponsible and said they could lead to public misunderstanding and disturb cooperative efforts in fighting the disease.
The Philippines on Sunday apologised for the comments and acknowledged that the quality of the test kits did meet global standards.
“The Department of Health wishes to clarify that the initial 2,000 BGI RT-PCR test kits and the 100,000 Sansure RT-PCR test kits donated by the Chinese government have been assessed by the RITM to be on a par with test kits provided by the World Health Organisation,” it said.
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