U.K. Paid $20 Million for New Coronavirus Tests. They Didn’t Work. – The New York Times

“The two Chinese companies were offering a risky proposition: two million home test kits said to detect antibodies for the coronavirus for at least $20 million, take it or leave it.

The asking price was high, the technology was unproven and the money had to be paid upfront. And the buyer would be required to pick up the crate loads of test kits from a facility in China.

Yet British officials took the deal, according to a senior civil servant involved, then confidently promised tests would be available at pharmacies in as little as two weeks.”

Rapid antibody tests “have limited utility” for patients, the World Health Organization warned in an April 8 statement, telling doctors that such tests remained unfit for clinical purposes until they were proved to be accurate and effective.