Scientists Face Prison over Covid Test Contract

2 Ecuadorian scientists face 10–13 years in prison after being embroiled in a criminal case involving Quito’s purchase of allegedly sub-par COVID-19 tests.
Scientists and universities have come out in defense of molecular biologist Linda Guamán and public health scientist Ximena Abarca, saying the case is politically motivated.
The issue: The tests used LAMP, a technology less sensitive than PCR that has trouble picking up very low levels of virus—but some assessments say the LAMP tests are perfectly adequate for detecting transmissible levels of virus. 

  • Prosecutors claim the scientists made efforts to conceal the tests’ poor quality and should have cancelled the contract. Abarca contends that that would have sent the city on a months-long search for badly needed tests.

Bad sign: More broadly, the accusations send a worrying signal to scientists, says Cecilia Paredes Verduga of the Coastal Polytechnic School:
“It was comforting to see two scientists working in health in a municipality,” she says. “Now, nobody else will want to get involved in that, and Ecuadorians will lose.”


Comments +


Post a Comment

Restricted HTML

  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Back to top