Approximately 3,700 Swedes received false-positive COVID-19 tests due to a faulty testing kit from China, according to the Reuters, citing a Tuesday statement by Sweden's Public Health Agency - which said that the kit was unable to distinguish between a very low level of the virus and a negative result.
"The supplier must adjust the performance that is required for this test to be used," said the agency's head microbiologist, Karin Tegmark Wiselll, who added that the test kit has been widely exported to other countries.
BGI Genomics, two of whose subsidiaries are on a U.S. economic blacklist of companies implicated in human rights violations regarding China's treatment of Uighurs, could not immediately be reached for comment.
It received emergency use authorization from U.S. authorities for its coronavirus testing kits in March and got an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization in May. -Reuters
The agency was unable to say how many tests had been done using the kit, but that the 3,700 false positives were a 'minority of cases,' and occurred when the virus is at very low levels. The Chinese test kits had only a marginal effect on Sweden's COVID-19 statistics according to the report.
Sweden has had 86,891 confirmed infections and 5,814 deaths from the virus, according to the agency. Of note, deaths, infections and ICU admissions have been falling in recent weeks as the government explores easing their already-lax coronavirus restrictions, such as large public gatherings over 50 people and sporting events.