This data does not show tests for coronavirus being ordered pre-2020
8th Sep 2020
Data from the World Integrated Trade Solutions website shows that Covid-19 testing kits were being bought and sold by countries long before the pandemic.
The data shows imports and exports of general testing kits which have since been classified as for Covid-19 during the pandemic.
This is not true.
The World Integrated Trade Solutions website is a collaborative project, between a number of different bodies like the World Bank and World Trade Organisation, which shows trade information.
Above the data for products classified as 300215 and 902780 (kits which test for an immune response, and instruments used in clinical laboratories for in vitro diagnosis) it states “The data here track previously existing medical devices that are now classified by the World Customs Organization as critical to tackling COVID-19.” These are the product codes features in screenshots in the Facebook posts.
So, before the pandemic, countries look like they were importing and exporting items that are now classified as Covid-19 as prior to the outbreak these were used for other things.
This is the case for a range of medical supplies which have been deemed vital to tackling the pandemic, including wheelchairs, soap and ultrasound machines.
This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because the data shows imports and exports of general testing kits which have since been classified as for Covid-19 during the pandemic.