New Delhi: Many countries around the world are facing a dearth of personal protective equipment (PPEs), including masks, amid the coronavirus pandemic but have still refused to import them from the Chinese markets because they ‘do not meet quality standards’. Also Read - How Novel Coronavirus Affects Your Nervous System?
Finland became the latest company on Wednesday to publicly blame China for selling over 2 million ‘surgical masks’ and 230,000 respirator masks to the country that don’t meet the necessary medical requirements. Also Read - Virus May be an Invisible Enemy, But Our COVID-19 Warriors Are Invincible: PM Modi
On Tuesday Finland’s Health minister Aino-Kaisa Pekonen had tweeted a picture of the first shipment surgical and respirator masks being unloaded at Helsinki airport on a Finnair flight from Guangzhou in China, saying they would be “checked and tested” before use. But officials later discovered that the masks did not meet the required standards of protection against the deadly coronavirus. Also Read - Over 8,000 COVID-19 Cases Recorded in India For Second Straight Day, Total Tally Goes Beyond 1.90 Lakh Mark; Death Toll at 5,394 | 10 Points
“Of course this was a bit of a disappointment for us,” health ministry permanent secretary Kirsi Varhila told a news conference, adding that they would use the masks in residential care facilities and for carers making home visits.
Earlier, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey as well as Australia had also raised similar complaints over the faulty supplies of protective gears and rapid testing kits. Spain had even said it would return as many as 600,000 testing kits back to the Chinese company it bought from.
However, China had retorted to the accusation saying that the countries did not “double-check” the instructions properly that “stated clearly” they were non-surgical.
Globally, more than 14,84,811 people have been affected by the contagious infection and over 88,500 people have died. Meanwhile, India has reported 5,734 confirmed cases and 166 deaths.