China concerned, says 'irresponsible to term Chinese COVID-19 test kits faulty' as ICMR asks to stop it's usage

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DY365
Published: April 28,2020 01:05 PM
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April 28, 2020: China on Tuesday expressed concern about the Indian Council of Medical Research's (ICMR) decision to stop using rapid antibody testing kits made by two Chinese firms

April 28, 2020: China on Tuesday expressed concern about the Indian Council of Medical Research's (ICMR) decision to stop using rapid antibody testing kits made by two Chinese firms, saying their products meet quality standards and are exported to many other countries.



It is irresponsible to term Chinese products as "faulty", the Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy said here early on Tuesday after ICMR asked states to stop using the rapid antibody test kits and return them to the manufacturers in China.



"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," Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong said in a statement issued early on Tuesday.



The statement came hours after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which plays a key role in advising authorities engaged in the fight against Covid-19, said state governments should stop using the rapid antibody testing kits from Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics after several states questioned the efficacy of the kits.



Ji said: "We are deeply concerned with the evaluation results and the decision made by ICMR."



Both Wondfo and Livzon, she said, had clarified that their testing kits had been certified by China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), meet the quality standards China and importing countries, and had also been validated and approved by ICMR through the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.



"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," she added.



Ji further said that Beijing hopes New Delhi "could respect China's goodwill and sincerity, strengthen communication timely with relevant Chinese companies based on facts, and resolve [the matter] reasonably and properly".



She said there are strict requirements for the storage, transportation and use of rapid antibody testing kits. "Any operation which is not carried out by professionals in accordance with the product specifications will lead to the testing accuracy variations," she said.



Reportedly, India had procured around five lakh rapid antibody test kits from the two Chinese firms and these kits were distributed to several states reporting rising cases of the novel coronavirus infection.



The ICMR also reiterated that the RT-PCR throat/nasal swab test is best-suited for diagnosis of COVID-19, adding that the rapid antibody test kits that have been procured by several states are only to be used for surveillance.



A separate Indian government statement said orders from the two Chinese firms had been cancelled as their kits were "under-performing". This statement added that ICMR had not made any payments so far for the supplies and the government wouldn't incur any losses from the cancellation of the orders.


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