OOPS: Contaminated Coronavirus Test Kits Discovered

Written by Wes Walker on April 1, 2020

Plenty of criticisms might be leveled at the US government over access to Coronovirus testing, but at least THIS wasn’t one of them

Sure, the US had problems getting tests up and running — and especially ramping up production to the scale we needed, but that was partly because we didn’t want the unreliable kind that were giving false positives AND false negatives.

Bad as that would be, even THAT wasn’t the worst of the problems that some test kits were dealing with.

A set produced in Europe and shipped to the UK had a far nastier problem.

Test kits were contaminated with the disease itself.

The government has been stung by criticism over its slow response to testing people for the virus and currently lags far behind other countries, such as the US and South Korea. To bridge the gap, Number 10 has ordered thousands of kits from private enterprises, including from a Luxembourg company, Eurofins. On Monday, Eurofins sent an email to government laboratories, warning that a key component known as “probes and primers” had been contaminated with the coronavirus, according to the Daily Telegraph

As a result, laboratories have been told that there will be an unavoidable delay to the new testing programme.

The spokeman for Eurofins said: “In rare occasions, delays in some orders may occur if based on Eurofins Genomics stringent quality and environmental control procedures, manufacturing of a product may not meet the quality or purity criteria set by Eurofins Genomics.

“We are aware that contaminations of the nature you mentioned have been observed by several primers and probes manufacturers around the world after they produced SARS-COV2 positive controls.

“Those initial problems can be easily resolved by proper cleaning and production segregation procedures.” — Express

It’s easy to get tunnel vision and forget that we’re not the only ones who have had stumblings in the national response to this crisis.

Sometimes, taking a step back gives a little perspective, allowing for the natural impact of misjudgment and human error to be properly in the assessment.