- Canada’s public health ministry recently announced that about 1-million KN95 respirator masks purchased from China have failed to meet federal standards for use by frontline medical professionals.
- The Canadian government has since withdrawn the distribution of the masks.
Canada’s public health ministry has announced that about 1 million KN95 respirators purchased from China have failed to meet federal standards. Public Health Agency of Canada spokesperson Eric Morrissette confirmed that the said masks were unsuitable for use by frontline healthcare professionals as they battle COVID-19.
Morrissette also said that the KN95 respirators bought from China were not distributed after failing to pass inspections.
“To date, PHAC has identified approximately 1 million KN95 masks as non-compliant with specifications for health care settings,” Morrissette said in a statement, as reported by Politico.
Masks are crucial protective equipment for nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers to prevent coronavirus infection. Canada purchased at least 70% of their PPEs from China, while the rest of the supplies came from the United States., the United Kingdom, and Switzerland.
It should be noted that Canada is just one of the countries that complained about sub-standard China-made medical supplies and PPEs. For the past months, countries like the Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Italy and the Philippines also raised quality concerns on items they received from China.
Recently, British doctors also warned countries over substandard Shangrila 510 model ventilators bought from China’s well-known manufacturer Beijing Aeonmed Co. Ltd. The doctors said that 250 of the said ventilators could cause “significant patient harm, including death”.
The chief of Finland’s emergency medical supply agency tendered his resignation after a multimillion-euro shipment of medical masks from China were found low quality, and unsuitable for use when treating patients with coronavirus.
The Netherlands also recalled 600,000 China-made FFP2 masks after they found out that “it did not protect the face properly or had defective filter membranes”
Philippines and Spain also complained about China-made rapid testing kits for COVID-19, as the supplies purchased gave “inaccurate and unreliable” results. However, the Philippines, which has strong alliance with China under their current President Rodrigo Duterte, later apologized and clarified that it turned out that the results are actually “accurate”.
In addition, Czech Republic, Turkey and Georgia also received faulty testing kits from China.
United States State of New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness also said that China should be blamed for selling substandard medical equipments.
“While Chinese authorities have stated they contained the disease in their country, they are also engaged in a public relations campaign to bolster their image by claiming China is the only government providing equipment to vulnerable countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey,” the report read.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Xhao Lijian immediately assured all countries that they will “crack down on counterfeit and shoddy products” and will impose punishment with “zero tolerance” to any manufacturing companies found exporting substandard medical equipment.
Watch a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promising that Canada will not pay for substandard N95 masks.
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