Updated: April 10, 2020 8:36:25 am
At a time when countries around the world are facing a severe shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and coronavirus testing kits, Finland has become the latest country to publicly blame China for selling masks that don’t meet its requirements.
On Wednesday, Finland discovered that the first shipment of 2 million surgical masks and 230,000 respirator masks it received from China did not meet the required standards of protection against the coronavirus for use in medical environments.
However, health minister Aino-Kaisa Pekonen said that it would be possible to use the masks in residential care facilities and for carers making home visits.
Suomeen saapui juuri ensimmäinen koneellinen kirurgisia maskeja (2 milj. kpl) ja hengityssuojaimia (230 000 kpl). Materiaalit tarkastetaan ja testataan normaalin käytännön mukaisesti ennen käyttöönottoa. pic.twitter.com/9ejsiYvlTn
— Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (@akpekonen) April 7, 2020
Finland, which currently needs needs about half a million surgical masks, and 50,000 respirator masks per day, has made arrangements with three domestic companies to begin manufacturing 200,000 masks a day, with production due to begin at the end of this month.
In recent weeks, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey and Australia have returned masks brought from China, forcing the Chinese government to suggest that nations have not “double checked” the products before purchasing.
Earlier this week, China’s foreign affairs ministry claimed in a tweet that Chinese manufactures have explicitly stated “they are non-surgical.”
1/2 China export “defective” masks to the Netherlands? True story about masks purchased by a Dutch procurement agent: the Chinese manufacturer stated clearly that they are non-surgical & the exported customs clearing procedures were also under the name of “non-surgical masks”.
— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) April 2, 2020
Here are other countries that received defective masks from China
The city of Toronto on Wednesday said that at least 62,600 surgical masks were returned on discovering that they do not match the city’s standards. According to the official statement, the order worth $200,000 was received on March 28, but on receiving reports of them ripping, and tearing, the administration has now decided to return them to the vendor on the assurance of full refund.
— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) April 7, 2020
After purchasing 3,40,000 test kits from a Chinese manufacturer, the Spainish government claimed that 60,000 of them did not accurately test for COVID-19.
The Chinese embassy in Spain tweeted that the company behind the kits, Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology, did not have an official license from Chinese medical authorities to sell its products.
The Dutch health ministry, in March, announced it had returned around 6,00,000 face masks that arrived from China. The Ministry claimed that the masks did not fit and that their filters did not work as intended, even though they had a quality certificate.
Turkey also announced that some of the testing kits it had ordered from Chinese companies were not accurate. It has, however, said that around 350,000 kits showed results.
Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?
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