Ever since the Coronavirus has taken the world by storm several people have got sick. Some people have become very sick due to this virus. Unfortunately, some have even lost their life. During these difficult times, criminals have found a way to create a black market for false paperwork and faulty products. These fraudulent acts have caused so many problems even with testing. More and more people are getting tested. Thus, there is a huge demand for tests, specifically antibody tests.
Rapid tests sparked in demand very early on when the pandemic began. Their demand has even risen more. These tests work by putting a sample of blood on the test strip. These tests are looking for antibodies. Antibodies have two types. One type shows up early on once the body has an infection. The second type of antibody does not show up until much later. This second type can persist for a very long amount of time.
Test kits were sold to European countries. These test kits, unfortunately, ended up being inaccurate. This caused a frenzy across the entire European continent. The Chinese company Alltest is the company that is responsible for distributing these tests to multiple European countries. They have a long history of manufacturing strip tests for diseases, pregnancies, and drugs. The company states that during trials their tests performed accurately. Independent trials argue this with the company. Independent trials struggle to detect antibodies in the early weeks of the infection. Faulty antibody tests are a major issue and concern. Tests that show false negatives can mislead someone into thinking that they do not have the virus when in fact they do.
The tests were advertised as being Dutch-made. Websites that have been advertising and seeling the antibody tests advertise the tests as being Dutch-made. Since controversy has spread about these false results these tests give, the websites have removed the words “Dutch-made” from the website. These tests are rather popular. Over 1.6 million have been sold worldwide. Believing these tests were Dutch-made caused them to believe to be accurate tests for antibodies. This could be a possible reason why the tests were trusted by so many European countries. However, this was false information since Alltest is a Chinese company. Quality checks were not thoroughly done.
Many may be wondering how are inaccurate antibody tests entering countries. PPE has specific certifications that show a product complies with European standards. There’s a specific CE mark that lets someone know if the product has been certified. However, there have been corrupt criminal groups that have found a way to imitate the official CE mark. Due to lockdown measures, companies and countries have not been following the same importing security measures. This is one possible way the antibody tests were able to make its way into the country. OCCRP reporters are reporting how these tests are being tracked down. They are covering the stories of how these tests are being hunted down and removed from websites. Tracking these tests can be tricky as these tests have been rebranded on multiple occasions.