New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) At least 6.5 lakh rapid antibody testing kits and RNA extraction kits imported from China by the Central government are arriving to the country for Covid-19 patients on Thursday.
Official sources in the Ministry of External Affairs, which has been at the forefront of the government’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic, is also ensuring imported medical supplies from other countries.
“As part of these efforts, rapid antibody testing kits (first lot of 3 lakh from Guangzhou Wondfo and 2.5 lakh from Zhuhai Livzon) and RNA extraction kits (1 lakh from MGI Shenzhen), all custom cleared on late Wednesday night, have left this morning for India,” an official source said.
The government is also providing all necessary assistance for further supplies of testing kits from the Republic of Korea. Firm quotations have been obtained from companies in the UK, Malaysia, France, Canada and the US. India has also received some leads from companies in Germany and Japan, sources said.
The Indian missions are closely coordinating with the concerned agencies for supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, sources said, adding that a large consignment is expected shortly.
Sources said, the ministry is identifying suppliers, obtaining quotations, closely coordinating on the ground with suppliers, clearing agents, airlines and local authorities in ensuring that deliveries take place in a timely manner.
The Indian Embassy in Beijing and the Consulate in Guangzhou played a key role in tying-up and expediting the import of the medical supplies from China.
There were particular challenges considering the supply crunch and local regulations requiring registration, sources said.
Special efforts were made with local authorities for customs clearance late on Wednesday evening. The mission also helped get necessary clearances for airlines which transported the cargo as they were operating on non-scheduled flights.
“Supplies of vital items required for our Covid-19 response are now well underway,” an official said.