Three lakh more Rapid Antibody Test kits used for the quick detection of the coronavirus (COVID-19) have been dispatched to India from Guangzhou, the Indian envoy here said on Saturday, as India ramped up the global hunt to procure more kits to tackle the rising cases of the infection.
The kits were airlifted to Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, Vikram Misri said. Great work on ground by our team, Mr. Misri tweeted.
This is in addition to the 6.50 lakh antibody and RNA Extraction Kits China sent earlier this week.
India is procuring the medical supplies from China in recent weeks to ensure availability of adequate supplies.
The Rapid Antibody Test Kits deliver results in 15 minutes and work on blood samples instead of nasal swabs to tell whether a patient has ever been exposed to the virus.
The RNA extraction kit enables the total RNA extraction from tissues. This extracted RNA is a mix of a person’s own genetic material and, if present, the virus’ RNA.
Two major consignments of the medical kits were reported to have been sent to India from China earlier as part of the efforts to step up testing especially in hotspots during the lockdown.
India has been facing severe shortage of personal protection equipments and testing kits in view of the rising cases.
By Saturday evening, the toll due to the infection rose to 488, while the number of cases climbed to 14,792, according to data provided by the Centre.
On Tuesday, Mr. Misri told the media here that India has placed orders for 15 million personal protection gear from China for medical personnel treating the COVID-19 patients, besides three million testing kits.
The orders are being placed with bona fide firms with the help of the Chinese government.
“I think facilitation of our needs and our requirements in a timely manner, in a smooth manner, on a predictable timeline at prices that are stable and orderly, would be the best signal possible to send for the India-China relationship,” Mr. Misri said.
Government sources in New Delhi had said large consignments of PPE kits are being bought from a number of countries to meet their increasing demands by several States battling to stem the spread of the infection.
In the wake of adverse reports about the quality of Chinese medical equipment, spokesperson in the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, Ji Rong, earlier said China attaches great importance to the export of medical products and that steps have been taken to ensure their quality.
As the demand for Chinese medical supplies scaled up, China on Wednesday asked all the countries to import these items through reputed Chinese firms cleared by the government and vowed to punish those involved in counterfeiting.