After Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the Czech Republic, the Netherlands became the fifth country on Sunday to send back tens of thousands of masks imported from China which were distributed to hospitals battling the coronavirus crisis because they did not meet the quality standards. The tests show that the masks failed to protect the face or had defective filters.
They received delivery of masks from a Chinese manufacturer on March 21, Netherlands' Health Ministry said in a statement to AFP. "The masks did not meet their standards when they were inspected. Part of the shipment had already been distributed to health professionals," the statement said.
"The rest of the shipment was immediately put on hold and has not been distributed. A second test also revealed that the masks did not meet the quality norms. Now it has been decided not to use any of this shipment," it said.
One of the worst-affected country by the novel Coronavirus, Spain announced last week that it would return more than 600,000,000 rapid testing kits it had purchased from a Chinese company after testing on an imported batch revealed they had a 30% detection rate, reported Euronews.
Even 80% of the testing kits sent to the Czech Republic proved to be faulty, according to a Fox News report. The Czech government had airlifted them to meet the emergency situation in the country. Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca raised similar issues during a news conference on Friday, saying rapid testing kit samples from a Chinese company did not meet the country's effectiveness standards.
There are more than 70 countries around the world including India that have received or are set to get, Chinese medical supplies as the coronavirus pandemic worsens globally.
There are 1,024 positive cases of novel Coronavirus in India and the death toll reached 27 on Sunday, according to the latest official figures released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The total number of COVID-19 cases across the world has surpassed 6,90,000 and there have been over 33,034 coronavirus-related deaths as on Sunday.
A vaccine is still at least 12 to 18 months away, the World Health Organization said, urging the countries to "unite to fight the pandemic together".