APRIL 23, 2020
The ICMR has issued notice on 27th April to halt surveillance testing of COVID-19 through Rapid testing kits in India as the test kits procured from China were reported to be faulty.
Two Chinese companies — Livzon Diagnostic Inc and Wondfo — which supplied 6.0 lakh kits to India on April 16, say that they were validated by NIV, Pune and then cleared by ICMR for supply.
According to details provided in the Delhi High Court, the kits procured from China, whose delivered cost was ₹245 a test, were sold to ICMR for ₹600 a test — a mark up of 145%. The matter came to light when Rare Metabolics Life Sciences Pvt Ltd and Aark Pharmaceuticals, distributors of Chinese Wondfo Biotech’s kits imported by Matrix Labs, approached the High Court recently to get delivery/payment disputes cleared.
This is not the first time Chinese companies were blamed for fake products, Spain on 28th March reportedly found out that rapid coronavirus test kits purchased from a Chinese firm could only identify 30% of the virus, according to a report in Spanish newspaper El País.
According to China’s official reaction in the El País report, one of its biotechnology companies which supplied test kits to Madrid did not figure in the list of firms approved by the Chinese government for trading in corona related medical items. The Chinese government said it did not give licence to the company to sell its products.