Responding to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) asking states to stop using the rapid antibody test kits and return them to the manufacturers in China, the Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi has said that it is irresponsible to term Chinese products as "faulty".
"We are deeply concerned with the evaluation results and the decision made by Indian Council of Medical Research. China attaches great importance to the quality of exported medical products. Recently, Chinese Embassy in India has maintained close contact with ICMR and the two Chinese companies to find out the real situation," The Hindu has quoted Ji Rong, Counselor and Spokesperson of the Embassy of China as saying.
"It is unfair and irresponsible for certain individuals to label Chinese products as "faulty"; and look at issues with preemptive prejudice," the spokesperson added.
According to CNBC-TV18, the spokesperson has said that the test kits have also been exported to Europe, Latin America and Asia, adding that the ICMR is aware of guidelines regarding usage of the test kits.
We hope India would respect China's goodwill and resolve issues properly, the spokesperson has been quoted as saying.
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Earlier, ICMR had asked the states and Union Territories to stop using the rapid antibody COVID-19 testing kits procured from China due to "wide variation" in their performance even as the government said not a single rupee will be lost as payments were not made to the Chinese suppliers of the equipment.
India had procured around five lakh rapid antibody test kits from two Chinese firms, Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Livzon Diagnostics, 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.
The Tamil Nadu government has already announced that it will return 24,000 rapid test kits imported from China.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic