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COVID-19 test kits: China urges India to step up communication with Chinese firms to resolve issue

Failing the test: The ICMR had halted surveillance testing for two days over complaints of faulty kits. M. Moorthy

Failing the test: The ICMR had halted surveillance testing for two days over complaints of faulty kits. M. Moorthy  

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing here that India and China are closely coordinating and cooperating with each other

China on Tuesday urged India to step up communication to “properly resolve” the issue with the two Chinese firms which supplied the COVID-19 antibody rapid test kits, subsequently found faulty by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Also read: Irresponsible to call Chinese test kits "faulty": Chinese Spokesperson

The ICMR on Monday asked states and union territories to stop using the test kits procured from the Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics due to the “wide variations” in their performance. India procured around five lakh rapid antibody test kits from the two Chinese firms.

Also read: Prime Minister must explain why COVID-19 rapid test kits failed, says Alagiri

Asked whether China would conduct any investigation on this issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing here that India and China are closely coordinating and cooperating with each other since the coronavirus outbreak surfaced.

“As to the specific incidents you mentioned, we hope the Indian side will step up communication with the Chinese companies to properly solve this issue. Of course, China and India have channels of communication. These are open,” Geng said, adding that China stands ready to share more experience and offer assistance as per its capacity.

He also mentioned that the two companies have released statements in which they said that the quick test kits they produced were approved by China’s National Medical Products Administration of China (NMPA) and met the quality standards and they have been verified by the Indian institute of virology attached to the ICMR .

“China and India maintained close communication and cooperation. China shared experience with India and donated medical supplies to it. We hope the Indian side will stick to facts and enhance communication with the Chinese side to properly handle the issue and help promote cooperation between the two sides to fight the virus,” Mr. Geng said.

Indian officials In Beijing said the issue is being dealt with by the concerned agencies in Delhi.

Earlier, the Chinese Embassy in India said in a statement that it was “deeply concerned” over the evaluation result of the COVID-19 rapid testing kits supplied to India by the two Chinese companies and subsequent decision by the ICMR to not use the equipment.

China, which has been dealing with such complaints from different countries over COVID-19 medical supplies, has stepped up official controls on the exports in recent weeks and advised the importing countries to procure all such equipment from companies authorised by the government.

Both the firms which supplied the kits to India were approved by the Chinese government.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 9:07:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-test-kits-china-urges-india-to-step-up-communication-with-chinese-firms-to-resolve-issue/article31456027.ece

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