India looks for test kits from South Korea

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South Korea is proving out to be an important source of medical supplies for India among the countries for novel coronavirus with aggressive testing and contact tracing. The Indian embassy in Seoul signed an agreement for supply of 5,00,000 rapid test kits from a South Korean company to the ICMR.

According to the agreement, the kits will be delivered in 4 separate consignments, the first of which will reach India April 30.

The procurement will help scale up the availability of tests which is a “big weapon’’ in the fight against Covid-19 said, India’s ambassador to South Korea Sripriya Ranganathan

“It’s not a buyer’s market but the goodwill which India enjoys with the South Korean government and its people has meant that the manufacturers are much more receptive to our needs and more flexible in meeting our demands.”

Ranganathan further added that, ‘all procurement is certified for export and subject to quality checks. “These have been found suitable for use by the ICMR. The company with which the embassy has signed the agreement is sourcing raw materials for production of the diagnostic testing kits from India, a collaboration described as a tribute to the special strategic partnership between the 2 countries.”

“It wasn’t that the Koreans from the start had the option of walking up to a hospital and getting themselves tested. It was also very expensive initially but they built up their capacity over a period of time by making tests available. Over 2 months, they pumped more tests into their healthcare system and spread the net wide as out agencies are doing now in India,’’ she said.

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