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These kits were reportedly received as contributions from big companies in India.

Thousands of PPE kits imported from China fail safety standards unusableImage for representation
Coronavirus Coronavirus Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 12:31

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for healthcare personnel on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic is currently woefully inadequate, and India is ramping up production domestically, as well as procuring PPEs from other countries —  primarily from China. According to the Economic Times, many kits donated to India, made by China, were found to be unusable because they failed to meet safety standards. Out of 1,70,000 kits that India received on April 5, 50,000 failed during safety checks, the report added.

These were reportedly received as contributions from big companies in India. However, this is not the first instance. Kits from smaller consignments also failed, the report added.

“The number of orders being placed is growing. China is the major supplier. We were totally dependent on imports earlier and never expected that there would be a surge in demand,” a senior government official told the business daily. 

A cargo flight carrying PPEs from Guangzhou in China landed in Guwahati on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, Guangzhou dispatched 6,50,000 coronavirus medical kits to India to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Ambassador to Beijing Vikram Misri said. Over two million test kits being procured from China will be sent to India in the next 15 days, he told PTI.

As its factories resumed operations after over a two-month grim battle against the coronavirus, China is busy tapping into the vast business opportunities of export of key medical goods, especially ventilators and personal protection equipment (PPE), across the world, including India, where both private and government bodies are placing orders for the import of these products.

Two major consignments of medical kits were reported to have been sent to India from China earlier as part of efforts to step up testing especially in hotspots during the current lockdown in the country.

On Tuesday, Misri told the media that India has placed orders to procure 15 million personal protection gear from China for medical personnel treating COVID-19 patients besides three million testing kits. The orders are being placed with bonafide 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," Misri said.

As demand for Chinese medical supplies scaled up due to the spread of the virus in several parts of the world, 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 counterfeit behaviour.

Responding to questions about quality concerns raised by several countries related to medical equipment imports from China, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told the media Wednesday that the Chinese government is facilitating the orderly exports.

"We hope foreign buyers can choose products from companies that have been accredited by Chinese regulators with good production credentials," he said.

With PTI inputs

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