India procuring 5 lakh Covid-19 testing kits from South Korea
New Delhi, Apr 21: India is procuring five lakh coronavirus testing kits from South Korea to meet their growing demand in view of rising cases of the infection, officials said on Monday.
The Indian embassy in Seoul inked a deal with a South Korean pharma giant Humasis Ltd to procure the kits, they said. The company is sourcing raw materials for production of the testing kits from India, the officials said.
Over the past few weeks, a number of Indian agencies and private companies have sourced 4.5 lakh testing kits from South Korea. India received 6.5 lakh coronavirus testing kits from China last week. India has been facing severe shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing kits in view of rising cases of the coronavirus.
The number of positive cases of coronavirus in the country climbed to 17,265 while the death toll rose to 543, according to the Health Ministry. The Ministry of External Affairs has been at the forefront of the government's efforts to procure vital medical supplies from other countries.
Sources said India is also also looking at procuring medical equipment including testing kits from the UK, the US, France, Japan, Malaysia and Germany. Indian missions in these countries have been tasked with immediately identifying possible areas of cooperation and engage with relevant authorities for procurement of medical equipment and technology.
The need for looking at best practices, innovations, scientific breakthroughs and medical equipment to fight the pandemic was highlighted extensively by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a video conference he held with heads of 130 Indian missions a few weeks ago.