Chinese-made test kits are a big hit in Europe

Jack Parrock, Euronews correspondent, tweeted a photo of the packaging of a COVID-19 antigen test kit that all event attendees were required to use on a daily basis. [Screenshot of Jack Parrock’s twitte]

Products widely used at the recent G7 summit in Cornwall, UK

China’s COVID-19 test kits have played a vital role in bolstering mass testing and ensuring the safety of group events in Europe, including the G7 summit that ended in the UK on Sunday, have said experts.

Jack Parrock, Euronews correspondent, tweeted a photo of the packaging of a COVID-19 antigen test kit that all event attendees were required to use on a daily basis. At the bottom of the box, read “Made in China”.

“The side-flow COVID tests that we have to do every day at the G7 summit are ‘Made in China’,” the post said. “The Western powers still need a little help from the East.”

Health Times, a newspaper affiliated with People’s Daily, said that Xiamen Biotime, a company dedicated to the development and manufacture of in vitro diagnostic (IVD) equipment in Xiamen, Fujian Province, is the producer of the kits. test.

On April 21, Xiamen Biotime exported 47,000 antigen tests worth more than $ 450 million via a China-Europe freight train to Duisburg, Germany, local media reported.

Earlier in mid-March, a freight train carrying nearly 8,300 antigen tests from an anonymous biotechnology company in Xiamen also left Nanchang, Jiangxi province, for the UK via Hungary, and they would ultimately be used for preliminary screening for COVID-19 cases, according to local customs authorities.

Some netizens have posted photos of free antigen tests distributed by the National Health Service, the UK’s health authority, on the Sina Weibo microblogging platform. The qualification certificates inside these test kits showed that the manufacturer is Xiamen Biotime.

In recent months, companies in Jilin, Shandong and Guangdong provinces have also exported their self-developed antigen tests to the European market, as well as to other countries, including Nepal, Japan and Ukraine. , according to the media.

Compared to nucleic acid tests which must be processed and analyzed in the laboratory, antigen tests can give results on the spot in 30 minutes, although the results are less precise.

The UK began offering free antigen testing to the public on April 9, an important step forward that “paves the way for the reopening of business and society,” the government said in a statement at the start. April.

As the host of this year’s G7 summit held in the coastal city of Cornwall from June 11-13, the UK has asked all participants to take daily self-administered tests in addition to ” other disease control protocols such as wearing masks and social distancing.

Song Haibo, vice chairman of the National Association of Health Industry and Business Management, said that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of domestic IVD enterprises have turned up. rushed to produce and export diagnostic products, winning praise from the international community.

“The manufacturing capacity of Chinese companies is able not only to meet the demand of the national fight against the virus, but also to provide strong support to other countries,” Song said.

The General Administration of Customs said China exported a total of 1.08 billion COVID-19 test kits from March 2020 to the end of last year.

As of April 27, 620 domestic manufacturers of COVID-19 tests were on the official “white list” of expedited examination procedures for export, according to the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for the import and export of medicines and products health.

Chamber vice president Meng Dongping told a forum in early June that the whitelist is a proactive initiative by the Chinese government to facilitate the purchase of domestic products by foreign buyers, which has received positive feedback. from abroad.

“When drafting the relevant rules, the principle and attitude of the Chinese government is very clear and resolute, that is, to guarantee the quality and effectiveness of our products,” he said.

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