Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Australia seizes faulty medical deliveries from China, as exports also face mounting scrutiny in Europe

A patient arrives at a covid-19 pop up testing clinic opened at Bondi Pavilion on April 01, 2020 in Sydney.
A patient arrives at a covid-19 pop up testing clinic opened at Bondi Pavilion on April 01, 2020 in Sydney. (Mark Metcalfe/AFP/Getty Images)
After health officials in Europe complained about faulty Chinese medical deliveries in recent days, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported Wednesday that authorities in the country had also seized faulty medical equipment from China.
Among the seized items were around 800,000 face masks and other protective clothing, according to ABC, with some being described as counterfeits.
“We started seeing this stuff arriving roughly three weeks ago when news of the pandemic was really taking off,” ABC quoted one official as saying, who was speaking under the condition of anonymity.
Australia’s death toll from the outbreak stood at 21 as of Wednesday, with more than 4,800 confirmed cases.
In some of Europe’s far more virus-stricken countries, governments have also noted defects in recent Chinese deliveries.
Last week, Dutch authorities said they had recalled 600,000 Chinese-made FFP2 masks that were distributed to hospitals, after multiple tests confirmed that they did not meet the country’s quality standards, according to the Dutch public broadcaster.
In Spain, authorities said coronavirus testing kits imported from China had turned out to be vastly inaccurate, but the Chinese Embassy in the country suggested Spain should not have ordered items from the company, as it is not on Beijing’s list of certified suppliers.
Analysts said the faulty Chinese-made deliveries to countries around the world reveal to what extent the rapidly ramped-up production of equipment — encouraged by Beijing to stem the coronavirus outbreak — may have resulted in a degradation of quality standards.

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