The Health Ministry of India canceled Chinese testing kits over performance issues. These were rapid anti-body tests and the ministry added that the government does not stand to lose any money since the due process was followed behind the procurement of the kits.
This statement from the ministry came after the country’s foremost health research body, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday asked Indian states to cease using Covid-19 rapid antibody test kits which were procured from two Chinese companies. The states were asked to return them which would be sent back to the suppliers.
In a statement from the ICMR, “ICMR is doing everything it can to ramp up testing. This requires the procurement of kits and supplying them to states. This procurement is being undertaken when globally there is a huge demand for these test kits and various countries are applying their full might, monetary and diplomatic, to acquire them.”
The government also added, “For Wondfo, evaluation committee got 4 bids and the corresponding quotes received were ₹1,204, ₹1,200, ₹844 and ₹600. Accordingly, a bid-offer of ₹600 was considered as L-1. In the meanwhile, ICMR also tried to procure the kits directly from Wondfo company in China through CGI.”
However, the ministry said that quotations received from the direct purchase of kits had a few roadblocks which included that the quotation was FOR (Free on Board) without any commitment on logistics issues and it was on the basis of 100% direct advance, without any guarantees.
The ministry also said that “it needs to be also remembered that this was the first-ever effort by any Indian Agency to procure such kits and the rate quoted by the bidders was the only reference point.”