İrem UZUN -TDO- The Spanish government has withdrawn 9,000 Chinese-made coronavirus testing kits from use after it emerged that they had an accurate detection rate of just 30%. In a statement on Thursday, Spain’s health ministry said it would be returning the kits but stressed that they had not been bought directly from the Chinese manufacturer but from a supply company in Spain that had purchased them in China and had provided the necessary accompanying paperwork.
Spain on Friday recorded 769 deaths due to the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, the highest single-day jump in the country since the outbreak began. In total, 4,858 people have died of the virus, known as COVID-19, with the total number of confirmed cases reaching 64,059, according to the country’s Health Ministry. Spanish biologist José Antonio López Guerrero told that he estimates that there are probably 10-15 times more cases than the confirmed figures. On Friday, the region of Madrid announced it would no longer be running COVID-19 tests on patients, who exhibit obvious symptoms like pneumonia. They will be treated as probable cases but will not contribute to the official count of confirmed cases.
The country’s hospitals are groaning under the weight of the pandemic. On Wednesday, the number of medical personnel infected was nearly 6,500 nationally, health authorities said, representing 13.6% of the country's 47,600 total cases and about 1% of the health system's workforce. At least three health care workers have died. The government said that protecting medical staff is central to their efforts to do what's known as “flattening the curve” – Spreading out the time period of when infections occur, in order to reduce the burden on intensive care units. However, health workers say that even simple things such as gowns and masks are still in short supply.