NAC brings 12.66 tons medical supplies from China

29 March 2020, Kathmandu

Medical supplies from China including COVID-19 test kits and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) bought by the government have arrived by a wide-body aircraft of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC).

The medical supplies landed at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) at around 5: 30 am on Sunday.

According to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the aircraft brought 12.66 tons of medical supplies.

The Ministry of Health and Population has said test kit for the coronavirus, its medicines, laboratory materials and personal protective equipment (PPE) were imported through joint dialogue between producers and distributors.

Ministry’s Spokesperson Dr. Bikash Devkota shared that the Department of Health Service procured those materials from China through the fast-track process after the joint talks with the producers and distributors.

Re-tender was issued as no firm submitted its interest for the procurement despite repeated tender notices in public.

According to the source, the materials will be distributed to different places of the country by Nepal Army helicopters.

Meanwhile, Chinese kits for COVID-19 have been stopped midway after questioned raised over their quality.

A Chinese company, Savanta Biotechnology, on Wednesday had donated 2,000 sets of coronavirus testing kits to Nepal’s Embassy in Beijing.

The Chinese government has stopped the delivery of the kits midway after finding out the kits don’t fall under a list of half a dozen kits approved by the National Medical Products Administration.

Spain, which is the worst affected country after Italy, reportedly found out that rapid coronavirus test kits purchased from a Chinese firm could only identify 30% of the virus, according to a report in Spanish newspaper El País.

Microbiology experts in Spain, as per media reports, believe that such tests should have more than 80% sensitivity towards influenza, a yardstick stipulated by US Food and Drug Administration.

Similar concerns have been raised by other countries such as Georgia and the Czech Republic.

A Czech portal also reported that about 80% of Covid-19 rapid test kits sourced from China were found to be of inferior quality. The Czech government had airlifted them to meet the emergency situation in the country.

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