Antigen test kit supply from China secure

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Antigen Detection Product GLOBAL TIMES PHOTO

INSIDERS in China’s antigen test kit industry say the country’s production capacity for these kits is now fully secured, ending the brief shortage that occurred after the government approved the sale of these kits in the local market.

Producers are working tirelessly to deliver these kits to domestic and overseas buyers, insiders also say, adding that supply is balancing out with demand, thanks to the expansion of production and coordination with the government.

Last Monday, more than 14 million people were tested in Shanghai, according to media reports. Nucleic acid tests were performed immediately on some people whose antigen test results were positive.

Hangzhou Alltest Biotech Co., an approved supplier of antigen test kits in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang, recently told the Beijing-led Global Times that demand is huge and it plans to increase the production according to market needs.

Since approving the test kits for local sale, the company has so far delivered tens of millions of its kits to the domestic market alone, he said.

On March 11, the Council of State’s joint prevention and control mechanism against Covid-19 added the antigen test in addition to the nucleic acid test.

This has enabled residents who need to self-test to purchase antigen test kits from pharmacies and online shopping platforms and other channels.

So far, the National Medical Products Administration has approved the manufacture of antigen test kits by 19 Chinese companies for the local market.

The current total production capacity of these manufacturers is fully capable of meeting the demand, Bai Yu, president of the medical device branch of the China Medical Pharmaceutical Material Association, told the Global Times, highlighting the national supply chain. comprehensive and prompt response from government and industry.

“Since the entire supply chain is based in China, it will not be difficult for these companies to provide timely antigen kits for national needs,” Bai said.

The capacity soared by about 100 times in about two weeks, with adequate supply for domestic and overseas, Bai added.

As all antigen test kit manufacturers are working non-stop to supply the market, almost all customers can get spot products without having to wait, the Global Times has learned.

Several online pharmacies contacted by the Global Times also said they were no longer setting purchase limits for antigen test kits as supplies became adequate.

With more supplies and government efforts in place, kit prices are also expected to drop sharply.

The current market retail price in some cities is uneven, with an average of about 25 yuan, but the current purchase price at the provincial level is between 7.9 and 9.8 yuan, Bai said.

But now, local governments are tackling the high prices by introducing a pricing standard for industry players and medical institutions to follow.

A joint notice for the pricing of antigen test kits was issued last Monday by the Beijing Municipal Medical Insurance Bureau and other government departments. He stipulated that the total cost of antigen testing should not exceed 11.37 yuan each time.

The notice also asked medical institutions not to charge fees for outpatient medical services for a simple antigen test.


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