Mumbai, April 25
India will be returning faulty antibody testing kits to respective countries, whether it is China or any other nation, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said while addressing health ministers of states, along with Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Choubey, via video conferencing on Friday.
“Faulty antibody testing kits will be returned if they don’t work properly. We have not paid for these kits yet. Wherever there is a need, we have also sent our senior officers to support you. They are sent for hand-holding and cooperation so that we could feedback on how to extend help further,” Dr Vardhan said and added that ”Almost three and a half months have passed while fighting against Covid-19. All states are doing well. India is the only country in the world that has reported fewer cases among all other countries”.
He said that India has around three per cent mortality rate of Covid-19. “We are on the right track to deal with Covid-19. All Health Ministers should monitor themselves. We have not entered the third stage of transmission because it has been controlled by the help of all the states”.
On Tuesday, Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) had advised states to stop using the rapid antibody test kits till it examines their quality in the wake of complaints that they are not fully effective. Last week, India procured five lakh rapid antibody test kits from two Chinese firms and they were distributed to several states. However Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat had complained that the kits were giving out inaccurate results.
Earlier Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar, Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at Indian the ICMR, had said that the companies which supplied the kits will be asked to replace them if the kits were found faulty. High variations ranging from 6 to 71 per cent have been reported between the results of the rapid tests and RT-PCR tests. These kits will be tested and validated in the field by teams from our eight institutes after which we will issue a clear-cut advisory for the states. Official sources here clearly indicated that the kits over which questions have been raised are from China.