China says unfair to label its test kits faulty
India has placed orders for hundreds of thousands of testing kits and millions of PPE kits with Chinese firms. However, several state governments reported wide variations in the results produced by kits from Wondfo and Livzon.Updated: Apr 29, 2020 02:14 IST
China on Tuesday expressed concern about the Indian Council of Medical Research’s 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. “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 .
The statement came a day after ICMR, which plays a key role in advising authorities engaged in the fight against Covid-19, said state governments should stop using rapid antibody testing kits from Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics after several states found huge variations in the results, and after its own field assessment exercise. Ji said: “We are deeply concerned with the evaluation results and the decision made by ICMR.”
Both Wondfo and Livzon, she said, have clarified that their testing kits had been certified by China’s National Medical Products Administration, meet the quality standards of China and importing countries, and have also been validated and approved by ICMR through the National Institute of Virology (NIV). “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 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. Ji described viruses as a common enemy of mankind and said China will continue to support India’s efforts in fighting Covid-19, strengthen medical and health cooperation, and jointly work to overcome difficulties to safeguard the safety of people in both countries.
India has placed orders for hundreds of thousands of testing kits and millions of PPE kits with Chinese firms. However, several state governments reported wide variations in the results produced by kits from Wondfo and Livzon.
The ICMR stressed in a statement issued on Monday that rapid antibody testing kits should be used only for surveillance, and said it evaluated the kits from Wondfo and Livzon in field conditions. “In view of this, states are advised to stop using these kits and return them,” the statement added.
A separate Indian government statement said orders from the two Chinese firms were cancelled as their kits were “underperforming”. Wondfo reacted to ICMR’s decision by saying it was “surprised and disappointed” as its “one of the first tests to receive an import licence from India, and has been validated and approved by the ICMR through NIV