‘Unfair’ to label COVID-19 test kits as ‘faulty’: China

‘Unfair’ to label COVID-19 test kits as ‘faulty’: China

United News of India
New Delhi, Apr 28:  Stating that China not only sincerely supports India in its fight against Covid-19 but is also taking concrete actions to help it, Chinese Embassy in India on Tuesday expressed concern after the Chinese products were labelled as “faulty”.

Recently Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had asked the states and union territories to stop using rapid antibody COVID-19 testing kits procured from China due to “wide variation” in their performance.

“The quality of medical products exported from China is prioritized. It is unfair and irresponsible for certain individuals to label Chinese products as “faulty” and look at issues with preemptive prejudice,” Chinese Embassy Spokesperson Ji Rong said in a statement here.

India had procured around five lakh rapid antibody test kits from the two Chinese companies, Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Livzon Diagnostics, and they were distributed to several states reporting rising cases of the coronavirus infection.

The embassy’s statement also said, “The COVID-19 antibody rapid test kits produced by these two Chinese companies have been exported to and well recognised in many countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America. We are deeply concerned with the evaluation results and the decision made by ICMR.”

Regarding the current issue occurred, “we hope the Indian side could respect China’s goodwill and sincerity, strengthen communication timely with relevant Chinese companies based on facts, and resolve it reasonably and properly,” the spokesperson said.

In a communication to chief secretaries of all states and union territories, the ICMR asked them to stop using the kits saying it found “wide variation” in the effectiveness of the equipment supplied by the two Chinese firms despite the promise of good performance.

It asked the states and UTs to return the kits so that they can be sent back to the suppliers.

“The ICMR has not made any payment in respect of these supplies. Because of the due process followed [not going for procurement with 100 per cent advance amount], the government of India does not stand to lose a single rupee,” the health ministry said.

The embassy also said, “Viruses are the common enemy of mankind. Only by working together, can we win this battle against the epidemic. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, China and India have maintained close communication and cooperation on epidemic prevention and control.”

Following India’s epidemic situation, “China has been feeling the same, shared its experiences in epidemic prevention, control and treatment, and donated medical materials to India. We will continue to support India’s efforts in fighting Covid-19, strengthen medical and health cooperation, and jointly work with India to overcome the difficulties at an early date, to safeguard the safety and health of our peoples as well as global and regional public health security,” it added.