China on Thursday dispatched 650,000 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 said.
“India Fights Coronavirus. A total of 650,000 kits, including Rapid Antibody Tests and RNA Extraction Kits have been despatched early today from Guangzhou Airport to India,” Misri tweeted on Thursday.
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 specially in hotspots during the current lockdown in the country.
India has extended its ongoing lockdown to fight the coronavirus till May 3. It has reported 414 deaths due to the disease and 12,380 people have been infected by the disease in the country.
Considering the importance, Misri said the Indian Embassy is facilitating commercial procurements besides coordinating flight linkages for their timely arrival in India.
On Tuesday, Misri told media here 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 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 a media briefing here on 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.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine