India procuring Korean rapid-test kits amid questions over Chinese ones
Amid questions over the accuracy of rapid test kits imported from China, India is gearing up to procure new ones from South Korea. A company named SD Biosensor has agreed to manufacture as many as 5 lakh kits and supply them to the country as soon as possible. Here's all you need to know about it.
Sripriya Ranganathan, India's ambassador to South Korea, recently visited SD Biosenser's facility in the North Chungcheong province of the country and made the arrangements for the procurement of the kits. The first batch will be produced and delivered to the company's facility in Manesar, Haryana, in a week's time, with more to follow in the coming weeks, Indian Express reported.
The latest development comes shortly after the Indian Council of Medical Research asked all states to stop using the rapid antibody testing kits supplied by China for a period of two days. ICMR said a lot of variations in the accuracy of these kits are being reported and it will issue an advisory on their usage in two days, following extensive field check-up.
Before ICMR's advisory came in, Rajasthan had already suspended the use of the Chinese rapid test kits over accuracy issues. According to the state's Health Minister, Raghu Sharma, the kits gave results with a meager 5.4% accuracy, against the general expectation of 90%. To recall, the kits were sent by two Chinese companies just a few days ago.
India is looking to scale up to testing and isolation to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 and has already procured around 4.5 lakh kits from South Korea and some 6.5 lakh kits from China. The country is reportedly also working to ink deals to source medical equipment as well as testing kits from the US, the UK, Germany, Malaysia, Japan, and France.