Chinese firms again question findings about their kits by Indian authorities
Days after Indian authorities banned the import of rapid antibody testing kits from Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics, the two Chinese firms on Wednesday questioned the ICMR’s findings about the quality of their products.
In separate statements that were forwarded by the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, Wondfo and Livzon also questioned the position taken by several state governments about the efficacy of their kits.
Last month, 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 rapid antibody testing kits from Wondfo and Livzon after several states questioned their efficacy.
Earlier this month, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) banned the import of kits from Wondfo and Livzon and cancelled the licences of the two firms and their Indian importers. This was done after authorities said the kits were producing inaccurate results in the field.
Livzon said in its statement said it was “shocked” by media reports that its kits were showing only 5.4% accuracy as millions of the kits had been supplied around the world after they were validated by Chinese and other authorities.
Referring to ICMR’s finding that the kits had shown wide variation in their sensitivity in field conditions, Livzon said: “We feel very disappointed [by] the result from ICMR. Our product gained positive report from NIV under ICMR in April before we delivered formal shipment to India and now is still listed as their recommendation…”
Livzon also questioned the conditions in which the kits were used by state governments and the tests conducted by ICMR in field conditions. “There was no convincing source pointing out the [inaccurate] results only came from products made in China,” it said, questioning whether ICMR had evaluated similar products from other countries.
Wondfo’s statement said its kit was one of the first such products to get an import licence from India and contended several reports in the media in the US and UK had stated that its kits were among the products from a few companies that delivered reliable results.
There was no reaction from Indian officials to the statements from the Chinese firms.
The Chinese government too has expressed concern about India’s decision to stop using the kits of the two Chinese firms, saying it was “unfair and irresponsible” to label the Chinese products as “faulty”.
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