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Thai Hospitals Stop Using China Made Covid Test Kits

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The Health chief in Southern Thailand’s Nakhon Si Thammarat has ordered all state-run hospitals to stop using China-made covid test kits. Dr. Charaspong Sukree ordered a halt to using the Lepu SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test Kits due to a high percentage of false-positive results.

Dr. Charaspong said over 1,000 people were tested using Lepu covid test kits, which produced 187 positive results for Covid-19. When this “infected” group was subjected to actual RT-PCR tests, only 92 of the 187 turned out to be covid-19 positive.

He told Thai PBS that “This represents 50% false positive, which cannot be accepted for use in hospitals. Above all, because it is unethical.” Dr. Charaspong added that he has already ordered all hospitals in the province to stop using the Lepu covid test kits from China.

He went on the say the China-made Lepu SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test Kits are not a problem “but they were not being used for their intended purpose”, saying that these covid test kits should be used on people at low risk of getting infected. Not high-risk people who must be tested with a more reliable tool at a hospital.

“It is OK for home use, if people want to use them, but not for medical professionals,” he stressed.

Thailand’s National Health Security Office purchased 8.5 million Lepu SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test Kits, produced by China’s Lepu Medical Technology, through the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) for free distribution.

The ATK test kits were purchased despite strong protests from Thailand’s Rural Doctor Society, which expressed doubt about their reliability and the high price.

Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the ATKs for home use, claiming that they have been approved by several European countries.

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