China is “deeply concerned” over India’s decision to stop using the COVID-19 rapid antibody test kits made by two Chinese companies, the country said today, adding that it hopes India will resolve the issue “reasonably”.
The government on Monday had said not a single rupee will be lost to Chinese firms who provided faulty COVID-19 test kits to India as the orders have been cancelled and the payments not made.
“We are deeply concerned with the evaluation results and the decision made by the Indian Council of Medical Research. China attaches great importance to the quality of exported medical products,” Chinese embassy spokeperson Ji Rong said.
Test kits made by two Chinese companies – Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics – have been found “under-performing” by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the government said. The top medical body told states to stop using the kits made by the two Chinese companies and them to be sent back to the suppliers.
In a statement, Chinese embassy spokeperson also said it is “unfair and irresponsible for certain individuals to label Chinese products as ”faulty” and look at the issues with preemptive prejudice”. Ms Ji, however, did not clarify who are the individuals she was referring to.
Earlier this month, around 5 lakh rapid antibody test kits from the two Chinese firms were procured by the government and distributed around the country after the ICMR recommended that every resident in coronavirus hotspots – or areas with a large number of cases – will be tested for the virus.
Reacting to India’s move to stop using the made-in-China test kits, China also said Beijing will continue to support India’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic and will jointly work with New Delhi to overcome the challenge “at an early date” to protect people of the two countries from the infection.
Several states, including Rajasthan and West Bengal had complained about the new test kits, saying they had only 5.4 per cent accuracy. Opposition parties questioned the government’s purchase as well.
(With inputs from PTI)