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Australia's Ellume recalls some COVID-19 test kits over false positives

Australia's Ellume recalls some COVID-19 test kits over false positives

A person is swabbed by a medical professional at a drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic in the Warriewood suburb of Sydney, Australia, Dec 18, 2020. (File photo: Reuters/Loren Elliott)

Australian diagnostic test maker Ellume said it has recalled certain lots of a COVID-19 home test as they may show false positive results due to a recently identified manufacturing issue.

The US Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday (Oct 5) that it was working with the company to assess its additional manufacturing checks and take corrective steps.

The false positive results from the company's test indicate that a person has the virus when they do not actually have it.

This undated photo provided by Ellume shows a self-administered rapid coronavirus at home test kit developed by Australian manufacturer Ellume. (Photo: AP/Ellume)

In an announcement dated Oct 1, Ellume had said that it is investigating the issue and had identified the root cause. The reliability of negative results remains unaffected by the issue and are not included within this recall, it added. The company was not immediately available for comment.

According to a report by New York Times (NYT), nearly 200,000 test kits have been recalled by the company, which represents about 5.7 per cent of the about 3.5 million test kits Ellume has shipped to the United States.

The report, citing an interview with Ellume's chief executive officer Sean Parsons, said that about 427,000 test kits, including some provided to the US Department of Defense, were affected. Roughly half of these have already been used, yielding about 42,000 positive results, Parsons told NYT.

Ellume's at-home antigen test received Emergency Use Authorisation by the US health regulator in December 2020.

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Source: Reuters/ng

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