Amidst the shortfall in the availability of personal protection equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers in India, some kits donated by China had to be dumped after they failed quality tests.
Amid global rise in COVID-19 cases, China has emerged as the leading supplier of PPE kits to support nations in tackling the pandemic. However, the country has supplied some poor quality kits to India that had to be dumped after they failed the quality test. Of the 1.7 lakh kits that arrived in India on Apri 5, nearly 50,000 failed the quality test. Apart from that, two small consignments with 30,000 and 10,000 PPE kits, too failed the tests.
As per a report, the kits were tested at the Defence Research & Development Organisation laboratory in Gwalior. The government procures only CE/FDA certified PPE kits, and non-certified kits need to pass the quality tests in India. The kits which arrived from China were rejected after failing the quality test.
To meet the shortage of PPE, an additional order of 10 lakh kits has been placed with a Singaporean company. The kits will, however, be sourced through China. The suits are expected to arrive by the first week of May.
To meet the increasing demand for protective gears with the rise in COVID-19 cases, the domestic production of PPE suits has been increased to 30,000 kits a day hitting the target a week earlier than scheduled. The production is expected to touch 50,000 by the end of April. So far, more than 150,000 suits have been manufactured and the companies aim to produce 100,000 more by the weekend.
Meanwhile, China has asked all the countries to import faulty items manufactured in reputed Chinese firms and assured that the government would take action against those involved in the forgery.
India has received the much-awaited five lakh rapid COVID-19 testing kits from China and these are not meant for early diagnosis of the disease rather for monitoring whether coronavirus hotspots in India are increasing or showing a declining trend, the government said on Thursday.
Addressing a daily briefing on COVID-19 situation in the country, chief of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at ICMR Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar said the serologic rapid testing kits have been provided by two Chinese companies.
"These kits will be used to check antibodies which the body of a person prepares as a weapon to fight a virus. The rapid antibody test kits procured are not meant for early diagnosis, but only for surveillance and trend checking," he said.