Hard-hit Peru’s costly bet on cheap COVID-19 antibody tests

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FILE – In this April 15, 2020 file photo, a healthcare worker testing for the new coronavirus monitors the results of antibody tests, inside a home in Lima, Peru. Peru imported millions of COVID-9 antibody tests to detect infections, even though they are not designed to identify active cases. Some have been banned from distribution in the United States after being found faulty.

AP

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the harried health officials of Peru faced a quandary. They knew molecular tests for COVID-19 were the best option to detect the virus – yet they didn’t have the labs, the supplies, or the technicians to make them work.

But there was a cheaper alternative — antibody tests, mostly from China, that were flooding the market at a fraction of the price and could deliver a positive or negative result within minutes of a

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Peru bet on cheap COVID antibody tests; it didn’t go well

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FILE – In this April 15, 2020 file photo, a healthcare worker testing for the new coronavirus monitors the results of antibody tests, inside a home in Lima, Peru. Peru imported millions of COVID-9 antibody tests to detect infections, even though they are not designed to identify active cases. Some have been banned from distribution in the United States after being found faulty.

AP

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the harried health officials of Peru faced a quandary. They knew molecular tests for COVID-19 were the best option to detect the virus – yet they didn’t have the labs, the supplies, or the technicians to make them work.

But there was a cheaper alternative — antibody tests, mostly from China, that were flooding the market at a fraction of the price and could deliver a positive or negative result within minutes of a

Read More