Agency: US intelligence warns the state of Nevada of an Emirati...

US officials have warned Nevada against using Chinese-made coronavirus test kits, donated by the UAE to the state, due to concerns about patient privacy, test accuracy, and the involvement of the Chinese government.

According to the Associated Press, US intelligence agencies have warned that foreign powers such as China could exploit the samples (test samples) to discover the medical history, diseases, or genetic characteristics of test takers.

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UAE Minister of Health receives first dose of Coronavirus vaccine (photo)

Documents obtained by the agency showed the US government’s attempts to distance the country from a project in which the Chinese company “BGI Group”, which is the largest genetic sequencing company in the world, has expanded its spread during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Emails and internal documents also obtained by the agency from the Nevada Governor’s office show that US authorities have expressed these concerns specifically about the “BGI” tests.

William Puff, Regional Attaché to Homeland Security at the United States Embassy in Abu Dhabi, wrote in an email to Nevada officials: “I hope that the leadership of the Nevada COVID-19 task force is aware of this so that they can make an informed decision and learn some knowledge. US government concerns. ”

Previous warnings from the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department called for the office of Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak in April to instruct a Nevada hospital not to use any of the 250,000 donated test kits.

An offer to donate the Covid test kits to Nevada was also a mysterious Emirati company called “Group 42”, which has partnered with the Chinese company “BGI” to create a rapid test system in the United Arab Emirates.

In response to inquiries from the Associated Press, BGI said in a mailing letter that “Group 42” had made a donation to Nevada on its own without BGI’s knowledge and that BGI had not had direct contact with the authorities.

The COVID-19 tests have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in emergencies and are being used in some laboratories in the United States – but “BGI does not have access to patient samples or patient data,” according to the agency.

While the BGI Group has affirmed that it takes all aspects of patient data protection, privacy and ethics very seriously, and is committed to fully complying with all regulations in force in the countries in which it operates.

In April, the UAE announced its interest in donating $ 20 million worth of coronavirus testing kits to Nevada.

The “unusual” offer came at a time when Nevada, like other states, was in conflict amid soaring COVID-19 cases and a shortage of testing kits. Nevada has shuttered the Las Vegas casinos that support the state’s economy as it scrambled to set up makeshift hospitals, stock up on ventilators and assemble test kits.

Besides selling test kits, BGI has expanded to include many countries by introducing such ready-made labs, which it says can analyze 10,000 to 50,000 tests per day. It has established such laboratories in multiple Chinese cities and in countries such as Angola, Australia, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Togo.

The US government fears that the “BGI” equipment is a method of espionage by the Chinese government.

Source: Associated Press

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