ICMR-NICED withdraws defective COVID-19 test kits from West Bengal labs

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Updated: April 21, 2020 2:58:35 PM

The National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) has withdrawn the consignment of defective COVID-19 testing kits from some of the state-run laboratories in West Bengal.

He said orders are being placed to procure 15 million medical kits from China.The faulty kits were replaced by those provided by the Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV)

The National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) has withdrawn the consignment of defective COVID-19 testing kits from some of the state-run laboratories in West Bengal, a senior official of the medical body said on Tuesday.

The faulty kits were replaced by those provided by the Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV), she said. The West Bengal government alleged that the COVID-19 testing kits supplied by the NICED, the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) nodal agency in the state, a fortnight ago were “apparently defective” as they showed
inconclusive results leading to repeated confirmatory tests and delay in diagnosis.

The ICMR-NICED authorities said it could be possible because the kits have not been standardised and it is
considering the matter “very seriously”. These materials (kits) had the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration, but it was learnt that these kits show error results when kept above 20 degrees Celsius. We are investigating the matter, the official said. West Bengal has so far reported 12 deaths and 330 cases of COVID-19.

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