SD Biosensor rolled out the first batch of test kits at its Manesar facility on April 19, the Indian embassy in Seoul said in a statement.(Bloomberg)
SD Biosensor rolled out the first batch of test kits at its Manesar facility on April 19, the Indian embassy in Seoul said in a statement.(Bloomberg)

South Korean firm begins making rapid testing kits at Manesar facility

The move comes against the backdrop of complaints from several state governments about the efficacy of rapid testing kits sourced from China.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Rezaul H Laskar
UPDATED ON APR 22, 2020 08:41 PM IST

A South Korean company has launched the production of Covid-19 rapid antibody testing kits at its subsidiary at Manesar in Haryana, with a capacity of making 500,000 kits per week, to meet the needs of the Indian market.

The Chhattisgarh government is set to be one of the first customers for the testing kits made by SD Biosensor Healthcare, the subsidiary of the South Korean firm, with state health minister TS Singh Deo tweeting that authorities plan to procure 75,000 kits at a price of Rs 337 each kit.

The move comes against the backdrop of complaints from several state governments about the efficacy of rapid testing kits sourced from China.

SD Biosensor rolled out the first batch of test kits at its Manesar facility on April 19, the Indian embassy in Seoul said in a statement.

This is an example of the “Make In India for World” policy as the “company plans to ramp up production to meet growing demand in India as well as other part of the world”, it said.

SD Biosensor was granted a licence by the Indian government to manufacture the rapid test kits in a “very short period of time”, and this was reflected in the cooperation by the Indian and South Korean governments in the fight against the pandemic, the statement added.

The South Korean firm is sourcing materials for making its test kits from India and it “capitalises on India’s low cost, high quality resources and skilled and technical workforce”.

SD Biosensor chairman Cho Young-shik met Indian ambassador Sripriya Ranganathan on Tuesday to discuss the company’s plans for countering the Covid-19 pandemic. Ranganathan also visited the firm’s manufacturing facility in North Chungcheong province.

Chhattisgarh health minister Deo said in a string of tweets the state government is “procuring 75,000…rapid testing kits at a benchmark price of Rs 337 + GST from a South Korean company based in India, which has proven to be the lowest bidder”. He added the “rate we have been able to close at is the lowest in India” and this was due to interactions with South Korean ambassador Shin Bong-kil and Ranganathan.

Yoo Chang-ho, the minister counsellor for political affairs at the South Korean embassy, said: “South Korea and India are very close partners and we are working closely together to overcome these hard times. This production of kits in India is a good example of how dynamic our partnership really is.

“We are cooperating to fight these challenges we have in front of us while also taking the opportunity to encourage the ‘Make in India’ policy.”

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