• All have been returned and the Ministry which is now working on new acquisitions.

It was rather more than the originally reported 9,000 defective rapid tests that were purchased from China through a Spanish intermediary, but up to 50,000. This has now been confirmed by the Ministry of Health.

The tests carried out by the Carlos III Health Institute showed that this type of test kit could yield inaccurate results, at which point the Ministry of Health immediately issued a recall notice  after having assigned the first kits to the Community of Madrid, the current epicenter of the pandemic in Spain .

The problem with these rapid test kits is their lack of precision: they have a sensitivity of 30%, while the traditional test, the technique known as PCR (polymerase chain reaction), which is slower but has been the reference until now, exceeds 80%.

The Ministry says that this failed purchase represents a very small percentage, compared to the 5.5 million tests acquired in China.