| 21 May 2024, Tuesday |

China approves five COVID-19 antigen kits for self-testing – CCTV

China has approved five COVID-19 antigen kits developed by local companies for use in self-testing, official broadcaster CCTV said on Saturday, as the country modifies its testing process in response to Omicron’s criticism.

Beijing Huaketai Biotechnology was authorized to make revisions to its COVID-19 antigen test kit’s device certificate, according to a notification released by China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) on Friday.

On Saturday, it said that Nanjing Vazyme Biotech, Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech, Beijing Jinwofu Bioengineering Technology, and a BGI Genomics affiliate, Shenzhen Huada Yinyuan Pharmaceutical Technology, had received identical approval.

The NMPA approvals signified the formal market introduction of new COVID-19 antigen self-test kits, according to CCTV, albeit the NMPA did not disclose any other details.

The approvals come after the country’s health authorities announced on Friday that for the first time, the general people will be able to purchase COVID-19 antigen self-test kits in stores and online.

In the last two years, medical staff in several Chinese cities have swabbed hundreds of thousands of noses and throats within days of just a handful of instances emerging, utilizing nucleic acid tests that necessitate the use of labs to analyze samples. China has been able to keep its caseload small by global standards due to the size of its effort.

However, some specialists believe that keeping up with the proliferation of the Omicron type has proven increasingly difficult. With many asymptomatic carriers, China’s daily surge in domestically transmitted cases hit a two-year high this week.

  • Reuters