New Delhi: Top government sources on Thursday told CNN-News18 that India will reject all the faulty personal protection equipment (PPE) kits donated by China and those that have failed quality checks.
China, the world’s main supplier of the kits, reportedly sent a poor-quality consignment that failed the quality tests.
At least 50,000 of the 1.7 lakh PPE kits from China failed checks, said the sources.
When questioned about the PPE quality problem, spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India Ji Rong said Chinese authorities have recently introduced stricter regulatory measures that require relevant exporting enterprises to provide written or electronic statements when declaring to the customs that their exports have obtained the registration certificate for medical device from the State Food and Drug Administration and met the quality standards of the importing country or region.
"Some countries including India raised their purchasing demands through diplomatic channels, and we recommend qualified companies," said Ji. "We hope that foreign buyers can choose products certified by Chinese regulatory authorities and with production qualifications when importing relevant products."
India on Thursday also received the much-awaited five lakh rapid COVID-19 testing kits from China.
Earlier, a report in The Economic Times said these kits were donated to the Indian government. "Two small consignments with 30,000 and 10,000 PPE kits, too, failed tests," said a person aware of the developments.
The report stated the kits were tested at the Defence Research and Development Organisation laboratory in Gwalior. The government officials have maintained that they are procuring CE/FDAcertified PPE kits only, while the consignments that have come from China are donations.
"Kits that are not FDA/CE-approved have to pass quality tests in India," the person was quoted as saying.
According to the minutes of a meeting held by the textiles ministry on March 18 to assess the availability of protective wears for health professionals in the country, there is a shortage of vital equipment needed to protect healthcare staff from catching Covid-19 infections. The minutes stated there was dearth of body coveralls and N-95 masks.
To meet the shortfall, an order for an additional 1 million suits were placed through traders, including a Singaporean company, the report quoted people with knowledge of the plan as saying. However, all suits will be sourced from China only. "By the end of May first week, we should have these suits. More orders are being placed," they said.
China, meanwhile, has 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.