Tag: Spain

Spain returns ‘faulty’ coronavirus testing kits bought from Chinese company as experts say China is filling the void left by Europe’s usual go-to ally the US
Europe

Spain returns ‘faulty’ coronavirus testing kits bought from Chinese company as experts say China is filling the void left by Europe’s usual go-to ally the US

A Chinese company offered Friday to replace thousands of faulty coronavirus test kits after Spanish health authorities – desperate for materials to cope with the world’s second highest COVID-19 death toll – complained they did not work as promised.

China has sold face masks and other medical equipment through a series of personal contacts with Spanish authorities, including discussions between chief executives of Chinese tech giant Alibaba and Spain’s King Felipe.

But the first shipment of 640,000 test kits was found to have “insufficient sensibility” to reliably identify infected patients, according to Health Minister Salvador Illa, who announced Thursday that 58,000 kits had been returned.

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    The Chinese company supplying the test kits, Shenzhen Bioeasy Technology, said in a statement quoted by Reuters that the incorrect results may have resulted from a failure to collect samples or use the kits correctly.

The firm said it had not adequately communicated with clients how to use the kits and would resend them “assuring the sensitivity and specificity needed to help Spain fight against COVID-19.”

Spanish medical experts, who have examined the 9,000 kits delivered last week, said they have only a 30 percent probability of detecting the virus.

“They are useless,” said Victor Jimenez Cid, a senior professor in microbiology at Madrid’s Complutense University. For a test to be effective it must have a 70 percent to 80 percent probability of detecting the virus, Cid said.

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The failure of Bioeasy’s testing kits is a painful setback for Spanish medical authorities, who are struggling to cope with more than 64,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 4,900 deaths, second only to Italy.

It is also hugely embarrassing to China, which is seeking to rehabilitate a national image tarnished by its faulty early response to the virus in Wuhan by offering assistance to other hard-hit countries.

“First they send us the virus, then they sell us the medications to stop it and then defraud us. It’s great for China” said a guest in a panel discussion on a broadcast on the Spanish TV channel La Sexta.

The test is performed by dipping a swab with a sample of a patient’s saliva in a protein extraction that gives color indications of the virus’s presence. The speedy method is essential for emergency examinations by hospitals as well as improvised drive-through facilities that Spanish authorities are setting up to isolate and quickly treat cases of contamination.

Until now, Spanish hospitals have relied on slower molecular laboratory testing, which requires specialized personnel and take four hours to produce a result. Tests like those offered by Bioeasy are supposed to produce a diagnosis in 15 minutes.

Mass testing methods proved essential in South Korea’s successful effort against coronavirus and they are recommended by the World Health Organization as an essential way of controlling the pandemic’s spread.

The Chinese embassy in Spain tweeted that Shenzen Bioeasy is not licensed to sell the product and is not included on a list of “recommended suppliers,” which its ministry of commerce offered the Spanish government.

Spain’s health ministry said Bioeasy products have been approved by European Union quality control agencies and that the “specifications of this test, at least of the lot that was received, do not correspond with EU quality certifications.”
Officials said the deal with Bioeasy was made through an unidentified intermediary.

Health ministry emergency coordinator Fernando Simon said Spain is trying to import 6 million testing kits from China and other EU countries. He also said that “intense efforts” are underway with Spanish biotechnology firms to produce them.

Spain’s becomes the second European nation with reported deaths higher than China due to covid-19
Europe

Spain’s becomes the second European nation with reported deaths higher than China due to covid-19

Worldwide the coronavirus has affected nearly all the countries and is spreading quickly. Spain has announced more than 3,400 COVID-19 deaths due to the virus, making it the second European nation with a loss of life higher than in China, where the new coronavirus was first recognized in late 2019.

Recently Italy reported 7,503 deaths because of the virus, which is twofold the number of deaths reported in China.

In Europe, both Spain and Italy are encountering an extremely upsetting situation because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Spain has around 47,610 coronavirus cases, and about 8,000 people were confirmed to have the virus in the past 24 hours, according to reports from Spain’s health ministry.

Spain is in the second week of lockdown, and the numbers are expanding every day, On Wednesday, about 27,000 individuals were hospitalized in Spain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spain Health Ministry expressed that it will purchase more than $460 million worth of coronavirus fighting equipment and supplies from China to support in battling the pandemic.

Spain’s worst-hit places are Catalonia, Madrid region, and Barcelona. In Rioja, Navarra, and the Basque locale recently, the cases have increased sharply.

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The European Union supports Spain against Britain in the case of Gibraltar
Geopolitics

The European Union supports Spain against Britain in the case of Gibraltar

The European Union is expected to support Spain’s claim to Gibraltar, and to give Madrid the authority to exclude “The Rock” from the post-Brexit deal.

The European Union plans to give Spain the ability to “exclude” Britain’s Gibraltar from any deal with the European Union, after the “Brexit”.

According to reports, the European Union is expected to give British Prime Minister Boris Johnson the option to hand the territory over to Spain or exclude it from any trade agreement between the union and Britain.

A senior European diplomat told the British Observer newspaper: “They have asked in principle that the new relationship will not apply to Gibraltar without the explicit consent of Spain, and it will not be granted unless the Gibraltar issue is resolved through bilateral talks between Spain and Britain.”

It is noteworthy that Britain celebrated Friday the start of the process of leaving the European Union, and is scheduled to start the next stage of negotiations between the two sides on March 3rd.

The European Council’s Article 50 guidelines outline that the union cannot reach an agreement with Britain on Gibraltar without the approval of the Spanish government, according to the British newspaper “Sun”.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will also demand the smooth transportation of 10,000 people traveling daily to Gibraltar to work there, with access to the single market.

The British Prime Minister is looking to get his country out of the single market, and he will have to conclude a separate deal to prevent the presence of heavily guarded borders between Spain and Gibraltar.

It is worth noting that in a 2016 referendum, 96 percent of Britons voted in Gibraltar in the hope that easy access to and exit from Spain would be preserved for both workers and goods.

The Gibraltar region, which is subordinate to Britain, is a square peninsula of 4 kilometers long and has been a source of tension between Spain and Britain for centuries, and its population is estimated at about 30,000 people only, but it has great strategic importance as it lies on the entrance between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, and between the two continents of Europe And Africa.

There is a British naval and military base in Gibraltar, one of its aims is to monitor shipping to and from the Mediterranean.

Spain rejects London’s control of the Gibraltar region, according to the Treaty of Utrecht signed in 1713, and has been demanding for years for sovereignty over it. Follow more Geopolitics News and Updates

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A Chinese company offered Friday to replace thousands of faulty coronavirus test kits after Spanish health authorities – desperate for materials to cope with the world’s second highest COVID-19 death toll.
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