New Delhi: The Netherlands government has ordered its hospitals to send back around 600,000 masks that had been imported from China, nearly half of the 1.3-million purchased consignment, after they failed to meet quality standards, the Dutch media has reported.
The faulty masks had already been sent to several hospitals in the Netherlands managing the Covid-19 pandemic but have now been recalled. The rest of the masks have now been put on hold, said an NOS report Saturday.
Netherlands had received the mask order from a Chinese manufacturer on 21 March. The masks were of the FFP2 grade, used as a respirator mask to filter out around 94 per cent of solid and liquid particulate matter in the air.
However, the masks were found to have faulty filter membranes during inspection that would have been ineffective in filtering out particulate matter containing the novel coronavirus from entering through mouth or nose.
Netherlands has seen over 1,800 coronavirus cases and a death toll of more than 600.
It has now joined a host of countries that have said medical supplies from China have proven faulty, hence ineffective in battling the pandemic largely understood to have originated in China.
According to a Fox News report, Spain is set to return 9,000 “quick result” test kits back to China due to substandard quality. The severely-affected country had purchased $467 million worth of medical supplies from China.
Even 80 per cent of the testing kits sent to Czech Republic proved to be faulty, said the report.
India among countries to receive Chinese medical supplies
There are several other countries around the world including India that have received, or are set to get, Chinese medical supplies as the coronavirus pandemic worsens all over.
On Saturday, the first batch of medical supplies from the Chinese Alibaba Foundation reached India, and was received by the Indian Red Cross Society.
The move came after Chinese billionaire entrepreneur and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma joined microblogging site Twitter earlier this month to announce free medical supplies from China to several countries fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Ma’s first ever tweet was about sending masks and test kits to the US. In another tweet, he said 54 African countries will receive free “20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 medical use protective suits and face shields”.
He also announced that said Asian countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be given free “1.8M masks, 210K test kits, 36K protective suits, plus ventilators & thermometers”.
Last week, Ma tweeted that 24 Latin American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Peru will receive free “2 million masks, 400K test kits, 104 ventilators”.