Chinese test kit suppliers shine amid global battle against Delta

Chinese COVID-19 test kit producers are ramping up efforts to provide the world with much-needed test kits amid a new round of outbreaks across the globe ignited by variants such as Delta, further highlighting the crucial role Chinese companies play in the world’s epidemic prevention and control efforts.

The Delta variant, which is renowned for its faster transmission and severe symptoms, has caused the world to experience another big disruption, and faster and more accurate tests are needed to rein in the new outbreaks.

Several domestic leading test kit suppliers told the Global Times on Sunday that they have received CE markings and are working at full swing to provide much-needed COVID-19 tests for epidemic prevention in countries in Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia. Some are also in the process of filing FDA applications for the US market, where the Delta variant has become the major strain.

Liangzhun Group, a domestic test kit supplier, has recently provided its products to Morocco, the fifth time this year that the Shanghai-based company has exported COVID-19 tests to the country. These products can identify the mutant Delta strain in 15 minutes, according to Liangzhun Group.

Unlike nucleic acid and conventional detection technology, the kits use plasma resonance technology, a self-developed method that can differentiate between the common strain and the mutated one, a source of the company surnamed Zhu told the Global Times on Sunday.

The company’s product is effective against both the ordinary novel coronavirus and the mutant strains, and the product itself is also being optimized and upgraded according to the variation of strains.

More than 90 percent of Liangzhun Group’s products are for overseas markets, and the company plans to expand production capacity, driven by booming demand around the world, including the US.

In addition to Morocco, it is exporting to some European countries including France and Germany, and also Sri Lanka in South Asia.

Another testing device supplier, Sansure Biotech based in Changsha, Central China’s Hunan Province, is also busy with export orders. Its products are sold to about 160 countries and regions.

In the Philippines, France, Bangladesh and Serbia, where the company’s products were part of the response to the outbreak, they have so far received no negative reviews, the company’s secretary surnamed Yang told the Global Times on Sunday.

The tests are designed to target several mutant strains ranging from Delta to Lambda, and are highly accurate, said Yang.

In response to these efforts, the health ministry of a European country sent a special letter to the company asking it to continuously ensure that adequate testing devices are provided, which Yang said is a reflection of the international recognition of Chinese epidemic prevention products.

In order to ensure sufficient and timely supplies, Sansure Biotech Inc has lifted daily production capacity from 3 million units to 5 million, with around half headed overseas.

The Delta strain has become the dominant coronavirus strain in many parts of the world, especially in the US. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 82.2 percent of recent confirmed cases across the country were Delta-related.

“The main problem for the US market is that the entry threshold system in the US is adjusted all the time, and the country has been particularly rigorous about the entry of Chinese products,” Zhu said.

Despite the complexity, Zhu said that the company is applying for the FDA marking.

China has provided more than 300 billion masks, 3.7 billion protective suits and 4.8 billion test kits to more than 200 countries and regions, as well as more than 600 million doses of vaccines, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a regular press conference on July 23.

Zhao noted that China will continue to make important contributions to the global fight against COVID-19.