Faulty testing kits from China hampered India’s fight against COVID-19. States across India complain about faulty rapid testing kits from China.
States to Stop Using Faulty Coronavirus Rapid Testing Kits
ICMR asked states across India to stop using the recently distributed Chinese test kits for two days due to considerable variations in the results. Raman R. Gangakhedkar, head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at ICMR stated they had monitored the results after receiving complaints of several states.
The variations ranged from 6% to 71%. Further, he said that the agency would send an eight-member expert team to the fields for validating the results. Besides, it will raise an issue with the manufacturer if the results continue to show inaccuracy.
New Testing Kits
India procured five lakh rapid testing kits (US-FDA approved) from China and distributed it to highly needed states. Also, India is expecting testing kits and personal protection equipment from South Korea. The kits were to speed up screening and detection of suspected coronavirus patients as against the swab test. These kits work differently from the RT-PCR kit, which depends on molecular data for the results. However, the rapid test kit results did not confirm accuracy.
Rejection by Other Countries
India is not the only country to have complained about the faulty Chinese kits. Last month, many European countries, including Spain and the Netherlands, rejected thousands below standard and defective kits from China. Besides, the UK paid a considerable sum for the Chinese antibody testing that turned out faulty. Moreover, the Czech Republic reported that only 20% of the tests conducted were accurate from 3,00,000 kits it had bought to carry out 900 daily tests.
Manufacturers Under Investigation of ICMR
Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech Co Ltd and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics Inc, are the two Chinese manufacturers who supplied the rapid testing kits to India. They are now subject to investigation of ICMR. Citing the faulty cases, spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in India, said that China attaches great importance to the export quality. It will provide the necessary assistance to the concerned agency.
In all, the flattening curve seems distant as faulty testing results slow the pace of fighting against the Coronavirus.