Covid-19: India inks deal with South Korean firm for 500,000 testing kits
Covid-19 update: The deal marks the first purchase agreement signed by the Indian embassy in Seoul and the testing kits will be supplied to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which is playing a key role in shaping India’s efforts to contain the Coronavirus.
The Indian government signed an agreement with a South Korean company on Monday for acquiring 500,000 testing kits to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19, with the first lot expected to be delivered on April 30.
The deal marks the first purchase agreement signed by the Indian embassy in Seoul and the testing kits will be supplied to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which is playing a key role in shaping India’s efforts to contain the Coronavirus.
The kits will be delivered to India by the South Korean firm, Humasis Ltd, in four lots from April 30, said a statement from the Indian embassy in Seoul. The agreement was signed in the presence of Indian ambassador Sripriya Ranganathan.
Humasis Ltd, whose factory is located at Gyeongi-do in South Korea, is “sourcing raw materials for production of these diagnostic testing kits from India”, the statement said. “This collaboration forms an important part of efforts to augment India’s testing capacity in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic,” it added.
Over the past few weeks, India’s Central and state government agencies and private companies have sourced 450,000 tests (both reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR and antibody tests) from different Korean companies.
“This cooperation is in keeping with the special strategic partnership between India and [South Korea] and the shared commitment of our leaders to pursuing a people-first approach,” the statement said.
The cooperation is also in keeping with the assurance by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in that the two countries will continue to consult and support each other and share experiences in the common fight against Covid-19, it added.
India has turned to a wide range of countries, from the US to China, to source medical supplies and equipment needed to counter the spread of the Coronavirus. Indian missions around the world have played a key role in the sourcing of these supplies, arranging clearances from local authorities and coordinating with airlines to transport the goods to India.
These supplies have included RT-PCR testing kits, rapid antibody tests and personal protective equipment (PPE) kits. Last week, Chinese firms supplied 650,000 testing kits received in two cargo flights.
Officials had then said Chinese companies have been contracted for nearly 15 million PPE kits and 1.5 million rapid testing kits by the government and private firms.