Reacting to faulty antibody testing kits shipped from China, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) urged the state governments not to use the COVID-19 rapid antibody kits procured from China as these kits are faulty and are not giving accurate results.
Govt cancels import of Chinese kits
The government has cancelled all procurement of testing kits from China because they were not up to the mark and showed inaccurate results in confirming COVID-19 infection. The two Chinese firms -Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics had supplied defective kits to India.
PM Modi hints to cancel procurement
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Chief Balram Bhargava on Monday where the decision was taken for the withdrawal of all procurement orders and stop the use of kits in the country.
China shows concern
China expressed grave concern on Tuesday about the decision taken by ICMR not to use the Chinese rapid antibody testing kits in the novel coronavirus test. Chinese officials say that their products have quality and such products are exported to several other countries as well.
Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong said,
“The quality of medical products exported from China is prioritised. It is unfair and irresponsible for certain individuals to label Chinese products as ‘faulty’ and look at issues with pre-emptive prejudice”.
Variation in results
The country’s nodal health agency ICMR had evaluated the two Chinese firms testing kits in field conditions. Unfortunately, the result had not satisfied the medical authorities of the country. After the tests, lots of variations emerged in their sensitivity. Several states also raised the question over the effectiveness of the Chinese testing kits. Hence, ICMR turned serious and issued a notice not to use the Chinese testing kits due to their variable results.
Kits Lack Quality
The Indian government has made it clear in its statement that the procurement of testing kits from the two Chinese firms have been dropped as their kits were not able to meet the high-quality standards. The statement unveiled that ICMR had not paid any amount to the Chinese firms so far. Therefore, the government will not suffer any loss from the cancellation of the rapid testing kits orders from China.
The first lot dispatched to 8 states
The first set of the imported kits arrived last week which were dispatched to eight states. Complaints started coming soon from the states about the inaccuracy of the kits. Several countries have also made complaints against the Chinese-made kits. But the Chinese authorities are reciting that there are no quality issues in their testing kits.
Opposition blames govt over kits price
The Congress party is not satisfied with the price of imported testing kits from China. The Chinese test kits were purchased by a company named Matrix Labs at the rate of Rs 245 apiece while the two distributors Real Metabolics and Aark Pharmaceuticals, asked the Central government to pay Rs 600 for each kit. This came in stark contrast with the fact that the Tamil Nadu government had purchased the same testing kits from the Matrix Labs for Rs 400 each.
TN govt returns all test kits
The Tamil Nadu (TN) government on Monday decided to return 24,000 Chinese rapid test kits. The state government made this announcement after ICMR asked states not to use COVID-19 rapid antibody kits imported from China because of their defective results.