A day after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) asked all states to stop using rapid testing kits imported from two Chinese companies with immediate effect, Ji Rong, Spokesperson and Counselor of Chinese Embassy in India, has said China is "deeply concerned" with the evaluation results and the Indian Council of Medical Research's decision.
Saying that China attaches great importance to the quality of exported medical products, the Embassy maintained it's in talks with the ICMR and the two Chinese companies on the matter. The embassy said the companies concerned -- Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics -- had already issued statements, saying the COVID-19 antibody rapid test kits had obtained the certification from the National Medical Products Administration of China (NMPA), and that they meet the quality standards of China.
The kits were also approved by the ICMR through the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, and were considered as "satisfactory products", it said. Other than India, the COVID-19 antibody rapid test kits produced by these Chinese companies had also been exported to many countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America, the embassy clarified.
The embassy said it was "unfair and irresponsible" for certain individuals to label Chinese products as "faulty" and look at issues with preemptive prejudice. "The Indian side could respect China's goodwill and sincerity, strengthen communication timely with relevant Chinese companies based on facts, and resolve it reasonably and properly," the embassy said.
It said following India's epidemic situation, China has been sharing its experiences in epidemic prevention, control and treatment, and donated medical materials to India. "We will continue to support India's efforts in fighting COVID-19," it added.
Notably, some states have raised issues regarding the performance of rapid antibody test kits procured from Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics, The ICMR has evaluated the kits in field conditions, and the results have shown "wide variation" in their sensitivity despite the early promise of good performance. The ICMR on Monday told states to stop using these kits and return them to be sent back to the Chinese suppliers.