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Expired PCR Tests Destroyed, but Cheaper than First Reported

Júlia Tar 2021.11.25.

The opposition is outraged by the news in Jelen that 5 billion forints worth of expired PCR tests had to be destroyed recently. However, it has since been revealed that the destruction did not cost 200 million forints (EUR 544,230) as first reported, but only 239,000 forints (EUR 650).

Jelen reported at the time that the scrapping was being carried out by SEPTOX Hospital and Healthcare Waste Collection, Transport and Disposal Ltd. (OKFŐ) by the instructions of the National Hospital Directorate-General for more than HUF 200 million.

The OKFŐ Directorate General initially said it could not provide more detailed information. However, late Wednesday afternoon they responded in a statement:

“Fake news is spreading on left-wing portals. Not for 200 million, but for 239,000 forints, expired PCR tests that could not be used were destroyed in accordance with professional standards.”

The statement adds that the purchased tests can be continuously ordered to hospitals. However, the rapid tests have reduced the volume of PCR tests used, leaving the hospital supplier with a large quantity of expired tests.

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The Democratic Coalition (DK) writes that they “demand that the government at least make PCR tests that are nearing expiration available for free! It is a disgrace to the world that we have spent 5 billion forints on COVID tests, let them expire and destroy them, while people are spending nearly 20,000 forints per test. While in Western European countries you don’t have to pay once for testing, in Hungary people pay three times for tests.” It was added that Olga Kálmán, a member of the DK board, spent a year in court to find out the fate of the PCR tests bought with public money.

Featured image via György Varga/MTI