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Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary K Shanmugam said on Saturday that there is a delay in receiving the rapid test kits ordered from China since the consignment meant for India was sent to the United States of America.

The Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu, met the media after the conclusion of the state cabinet meeting headed by the Chief Minister at the Secretariat. To a question on the arrival of rapid anti-body test kits in Tamil Nadu, Shanmugam said that Tamil Nadu had independently placed orders for 1 lakh kits with China before the central government asked the state to do so.

“Rapid test kits have not yet reached India. When it reaches India, we will get it. We had placed order for one lakh kits even before the Government of India told us to. Then in a Chief Minister’s meeting, we were told to speed up the process and hence we placed an additional order of 50,000 kits. Three to four days ago, the Chief Minister said that since we have a lot of frontline workers and we will need to screen the quarantined region more, we will need more kits. Hence, we ordered two lakh kits more. (In total) Orders for four lakh kits have been placed,” explained the Chief Secretary.

Adding that the production of rapid test kits is limited in China, Shanmugam said that China has sent one consignment to the USA. “Since we had placed orders early, they have promised to give us at least 50,000 kits in the first consignment and then give us 50,000 more in the next consignment,” he stated.Countries, including Germany and France, had earlier accused the US of ‘hijacking’ masks due for arrival in their countries. While it is yet unclear which Chinese buyer Tamil Nadu has placed its order with, many have raised doubts regarding the accuracy of the rapid test kits. Spain, for example, withdrew rapid test kits bought from a Chinese supplier over poor detection rates, as low as 30 percent.

The top bureaucrat informed that Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had recommended the extension of lockdown by two more weeks in Tamil Nadu during the Chief Minister’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day. Shanmugam reiterated that the state government would abide by the Centre’s decision on the lockdown.

On Saturday, 58 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the state, of which 47 cases arise from a single source event. This takes the total number of positive cases in Tamil Nadu to 969. A patient undergoing treatment for COVID-19 in Erode died on Saturday, taking the death toll 10. The state government has tested 9,842 samples till Saturday, of which results of 1,094 samples are pending. 

Courtesy – thenewsminute

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