In an attempt to rebuild the damaged image due to its handling of the Coronavirus outbreak, China is exporting face masks and other necessary medical equipment such as hazmat suits, testing kits, and ventilators to countries facing acute shortage of these supplies during the Coronavirus pandemic.
However, most of the countries have claimed that the face masks imported from China do not meet basic safety standards, making them unsuitable for use in hospitals.
Finland’s health minister, Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, has revealed that the 2 million surgical masks and 230,000 N95 masks imported from China do not meet the required standards of protection against the Coronavirus.
Netherlands’ health authorities have recalled more than 600,000 face masks distributed among frontline healthcare workers after finding out that the masks imported from China are substandard and do not offer protection against the Coronavirus droplets.
Canadian government has also said that 1 million masks imported from China have insufficient protective layers. As a result, the masks cannot be distributed among the healthcare workers.
Besides, Spain, Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Australia have recently returned millions of face masks imported from China after the equipment failed to pass the safety standards.
Apart from substandard face masks, Spain, Turkey, Netherlands, Georgia, and Malaysia have reported that testing kits received from China are either flawed or have a low accuracy rate.
Chinese Government Rejects Claims
According to the Chinese commerce ministry, China has exported more than 1 billion face masks worldwide after the outbreak of Coronavirus. It has also signed contracts worth $1.41 billion with 74 countries to export medical supplies.
However, Chinese foreign ministry has rejected claims from countries about the export of faulty face masks and other medical equipment.
In an official statement, the Chinese foreign office has stated that the countries complaining about substandard masks were clearly briefed by the manufacturers that the masks are non-surgical.
Masks of various categories offer different levels of protection, for day-to-day use and medical purposes. Countries are advised to double-check the instructions to make sure that they order and pay for the right ones. Do not use non-surgical masks for surgical purposes.
China Seized Faulty Medical Equipment
After receiving complaints from different countries, the Chinese government has ramped up its efforts to curb the export of substandard face masks and other medical equipment.
Chinese officials have confiscated more than 89 million substandard face masks, 418,000 faulty PPEs, and 370,000 fake disinfectants from across the country.