The Government of different European countries wants its money back for millions of faulty antibody tests supplied by China.
The Department of Health has admitted none of the 3.5million finger-prick tests ordered from mainly Chinese manufacturers in March passed accuracy checks.
It comes as a number of European governments have already rejected Chinese-made equipment designed to combat coronavirus.
The Dutch health ministry recalled 600,000 face masks at the end of March because they did not fit and the filters were defective.
Spain encountered a similar issue with testing kits from China, when 60,000 failed accuracy tests.
And Slovakian Prime Minister Igor Matovic said a million tests from China were so inaccurate they should ‘be thrown straight into the Danube’.
Last month, the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell said Europe ‘must be aware there is a geo-political component including a struggle for influence through spinning and the “politics of generosity”‘, adding: ‘China is aggressively pushing the message that, unlike the US, it is a responsible and reliable partner.’
Ireland issued an ultimatum to China last week after 20 per cent of the £176million-worth of PPE it had bought from the country was found to be unusable by healthcare workers on the frontline.
Dr Bharat Pankhania, senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School, claimed the coronavirus crisis had exposed how much we rely on foreign manufacturing.
‘We are now beholden to a foreign maker who can drag their feet and supply us with substandard goods in the moment of crisis,’ he said.
A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘We are currently working with several companies offering antibody tests and evaluating their effectiveness.’