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Madrid uses unreliable tests with its toilets after failing a purchase announced by Ayuso | Society

The Community of Madrid bought some low-quality rapid tests, which it now allocates to its health personnel, after the failure of one of the star purchases announced by the regional president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso. This was admitted on Wednesday morning by sources from the Madrid Executive after the publication of information by EL PAÍS that revealed the low reliability of the tests used by health personnel.

Ayuso announced on April 8 the acquisition of 100,000 tests with a sensitivity of 92%, according to verification tests carried out at the La Paz hospital. The operation was presented as an example of good management in the face of the problems that the Ministry of Health had encountered in similar purchases. “They give us more sensitivity and confidence than the government has given us,” said Ayuso.

The Community announced that the tests were going to arrive the following weekend (April 11 and 12), although the truth is that they never arrived. Sources of the regional government now admit that they do not know when they will arrive, if they ever do, which has forced the Ministry of Health to look for “alternatives”. The Ayuso government has so far kept the failed operation a secret. This Tuesday, despite repeated questions from EL PAÍS, it did not offer this information either, which led this newspaper to attribute the poor results of the tests to the 100,000 announced by Ayuso.

One of the “alternatives” that the Community has had to face is how to continue with the announced initiatives despite not having the promised tests. One of the most important was the preparation of the “infected map” in the region, a project in which the basic tool is precisely rapid tests and that the Ministry wanted to “start with health professionals”.

To be able to carry them out, the Community acquired another 50,000 tests in an especially competitive and complex international market due to the virulence that the epidemic was acquiring worldwide. The brand purchased was Biozek Medical.

A document from the Pharmacy Service of the Southeast Assistance Directorate, advanced on Wednesday morning by EL PAÍS, has detected that the reliability of the new tests is much lower than that of those announced by Ayuso and of what the company promises. marketer.

The sensitivity of the tests is 79.4% and they obtain even less precise results in the other indicators. 36% of positives, for example, are actually false positives. And another indicator, the so-called specificity – the percentage of people without antibodies that therefore give a negative result – amounts to 74%, which is why in one out of four cases a false positive is obtained.

An investigation published Wednesday by the Organized Crime and Corruption Journalism Project (OCCRP) consortium reveals that Biozek Medical’s tests, despite being advertised as a Dutch product, are actually one of several relabelled presentations. —On European soil— from the Chinese Alltest.

The rapid tests used by the Community had already encountered opposition from unions and professionals due to their low reliability, even without knowing everything that had happened with their purchase. “It makes no sense to extend the use of tests that have dubious reliability and neither serve to extract epidemiological data, nor modify your behavior at the workplace,” said Rosa Vicente, secretary of Health of the CSIT union on Tuesday. The Community planned to use the tests, along with other more reliable tests such as ELISA, with the 86,000 workers of the Madrid Health Service (Sermas).

Primary care workers had reported feeling aggrieved by the management of the Ministry of Health. “They are going to use the tests with us while in many hospitals they use ELISA, which is much more reliable,” criticized a doctor from a Vallecas health center.

This discomfort has transpired in notes such as the one signed by all the staff of the Ibiza health center, in the capital, in which they also confirm that “these tests are not useful for health professionals” and describe the use of different types of “discrimination” tests in health centers and hospitals. “The evidence is clear: for the study of health professionals, the one indicated is Elisa,” the writing concludes.

A recent report from the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) He did not recommend rapid tests among healthcare personnel as “they are not entirely reliable, as has been verified when these methods have been evaluated by the Carlos III Health Institute and collaborating centers.”

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