NYC Says Government-Issued Coronavirus Tests Are Faulty, ‘Cannot Be Relied Upon’
The New York City Department of Health has reported that coronavirus tests issued by the federal government are faulty and unreliable, according to The Independent.
Spokeswoman Stephanie Buhle told ProPublica that "Testing for coronavirus is not available yet in New York City,” adding: "The kits that were sent to us have demonstrated performance issues and cannot be relied upon to provide an accurate result."
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Deputy Commissioner Demetre Daskalakis also confirmed that the tests were unreliable to Buzzfeed News.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent testing kits to 100 state and city labs earlier this month, as well as some locations overseas; however, The Independent noted that reports indicate “fewer than a dozen labs have produced definite results when using the test.
New York state and New York City are working to develop their own coronavirus tests, the publication reported, and the CDC is also in the process of developing a new test.
In lieu of reliable test kits, “New York is currently monitoring flu and pneumonia reports hourly in emergency rooms as a way to monitor for any potential outbreak.”
“If we are starting to see a lot of pneumonia cases at a time when influenza is trending down, we would act very quickly to find out what is going on,” Dr. Daskalakis said.
New York City currently has one possible case of the coronavirus, though test results are still pending.