ICMR advises not to use Chinese kits

About the conspicuous delay regarding international obligations of China in respect of sharing with other countries eruption and other details of COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding , that it should choose to exploit the precarious situation, the two thirds of the global population is presently facing, by exporting sub-standard and faulty rapid anti body test kits to needy countries including India, is highly unwarranted and unacceptable. To go berserk after commerce and making quick gains even out of the disaster wrought by the coronavirus , China has violated the tenets of ethical international trade norms especially when it concerned fighting the dreaded virus. Finding all faults and genuinely so, with the kits supplied by China , India’s apex health research body, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has asked the states and the UTs to stop using COVID-19 rapid antibody test kits which have been imported from two Chinese companies. Tests conducted on them in respect of various parameters have proven them lacking in the levels of the “sensitivities” despite earlier promise of good performance.
This has not been the case with India only but other countries too have complained of Chinese kits, masks and other equipment to be of sub-standard and thus being vulnerable to hazards instead of proving otherwise for which purposes they were procured. And see the arrogance of China even in this most difficult hour as only ending last month, an official spokesperson for the ruling Communist Party of China had in this connection, tweeted that if Made in China is contagious or defective , then do not use Chinese face masks, Chinese PPEs, Chinese ventilators but only by doing so “can you avoid the virus”. While such an approach reeks of total insensitivity to the difficulties faced by the countries using such stuff , it also exposes the repercussions of total dependence on such items on China and lack of farsightedness on the countries including India in not exploring and promoting domestic production. Coronavirus crisis is giving to us a lesson that we should reduce the dependence as much as we can. When in field conditions, the ICMR did not find these kits fitting into the standard quality tests, looking to the nature of the devastating effect of the virus, how could the Chinese kits be used and the only course is to return them.
The proverbial silver lining in the darkest clouds is that by returning of these sub-standard and low quality kits to China, we were not going to lose even a single Rupee as the terms of the procurement reportedly were not cent percent advance payment of the consignments. It is not that our medical research and knowledge in the country is any less than any other country and we can develop our own RT/PCR throat /nasal swab testing methodology which the experts claim to be the most reliable test for detecting the infection of the virus in a person. Our recovery rate has improved vastly while the rising curve of the spread of the virus is on the plummeting levels and soon may be flattened. Let the mass testing be conducted by employing the RT/PCR testing technique so as to identify an individual with the infection so that necessary treatment etc including isolation of the suspected person could be undertaken well in time. Since the trend and the behaviour of the Coronavirus is still not fully known , coming two to three months are sensitive, if not crucial during which due precautions have got to be taken and no dilution could be afforded in the efforts to battle the virus and ultimately finish it fully.