New Delhi – China on Thursday dispatched 6.5 lakh coronavirus medical kits to India to help fight the COVID -19 pandemic, Indian Ambassador to Beijing Vikram Misri said.
Over two million test kits being procured from China will be sent to India in the next 15 days, said. “#IndiaFightsCoronavirus A total of 650,000 kits, including Rapid Antibody Tests and RNA Extraction Kits have been dispatched early today from Guangzhou Airport to #India,” Misri tweeted on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Misri told reporters in Beijing that India has placed orders to procure 15 million personal protection gear from China for medical personnel treating Covid-19 patients besides three million testing kits. The orders are being placed with bonafide firms with the help of the Chinese government.
“I think facilitation of our needs and our requirements in a timely manner, in a smooth manner, on a predictable timeline at prices that are stable and orderly, would be the best signal possible to send for the India-China relationship,” Misri said.
Around 20 lakh more COVID-19 kits will be delivered over 15 days. These include Rapid Antibody Test kits – a blood-based test that is more accurate and allows for quicker detection of the novel coronavirus.
China has already supplied 50,000 PPE kits to Assam, which arrived on Wednesday.
Factories in China resumed operations after over a two-month grim battle against the coronavirus. China is busy tapping into the vast business opportunities of export of key medical goods, especially ventilators and personal protection equipment across the world, including India, where both private and government bodies are placing orders for the import of these products.
As demand for Chinese medical supplies scaled up due to the spread of the virus in several parts of the world, China asked all the countries to import these items through reputed Chinese firms cleared by the government and vowed to punish those involved in counterfeit behaviour.
PPE kits from China fail Indian quality test
As per a News18 report, as many as 50,000 PPE kits from China failed the Indian quality and safety test. These were from the 170,000 PPE kits that arrived in India on April 5.
Two small consignments with 30,000 and 10,000 PPE kits, too, failed tests. Even as local production of PPE kits that help in keeping medical professionals from contracting the disease is picking up, India faces a shortage of personal protection equipment.
The kits were tested at the Defence Research and Development Organisation lab in Gwalior and were necessitated as these consignments were donated, an anonymous source was quoted as saying in an Economic Times report.
Some of these consignments were in form of donations from big private companies, but these too, failed the safety test. As per officials, only equipment certified by the CE or FDA are being procured and orders are placed with a Singapore company, but, the equipment is sourced from China.
Officials added that there was no cause to be alarmed as the number of orders for more relevant equipment is growing. India remains largely dependent on imports for such safety equipment.
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