People are seen inside a temporary quarantine center during an extended nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kolkata, India, April 15, 2020. (Photo: CGTN)
Rapid antibody testing kits exported to India by two Chinese manufacturers are qualified medical products that require careful following of usage instructions to avoid misuse, said the Chinese Embassy in India on Tuesday in response to India's recent move to stop using the test kits.
The statement came after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday advised states and union territories to stop using the COVID-19 test kits procured from two Chinese companies, Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics Inc. and Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech Co., Ltd for accuracy concerns.
Ji Rong, the spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy, said that rapid COVID-19 test kits produced by both companies are qualified medical products as they have been approved by official medical agencies of both countries.
The Chinese National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) and India's National Institute of Virology affiliated with ICMR have both issued approval, she said, and those same products have been exported to countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America, which give positive feedback on the products.
The embassy is deeply concerned with the decision by ICMR and has remained in close communication with ICMR and concerned Chinese companies regarding the issue, the spokesperson said.
Ji stressed that China prioritizes the quality of exported medical supplies. "It is unfair and irresponsible for some people to label Chinese products 'faulty' with preemptive prejudice."
She further noted that rapid test kits need to be used following professional guidance in terms of storage, transport and application in order to obtain the best results and avoid errors. And as ICMR also pointed out, those products are designated for supervising the outbreak, not for diagnosis of COVID-19 infections or as a substitute for nucleic acid tests.
The spokesperson said that China is sincerely helping India to fight the pandemic and hopes that India can strengthen communication with the companies involved and deal with the problem properly.
Ji stressed again that China is providing convenience to countries around the world, including India, to procure medical supplies in the Chinese market. China will continue to support India's anti-COVID-19 efforts in terms of sharing virus containment experience and donating medical resources, she added.