There have always been concerns over the poor quality of Chinese products. And the same fear now has come to haunt the world when it is fighting the worst health crisis of the 21st century … writes Dr Aditya Sharma
China has been accused of sending and selling testing kits and medical masks of poor and defective qualities. It did not even spare its close-ally Pakistan. In what called as “disgusting act” by Pakistani media, China supplied its best friend with the masks made of underwear instead of promised N95 equivalent masks.
A number of governments across Europe and Asia have rejected Chinese-made equipment designed to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands have found the thousands of testing kits and medical masks imported from China were below-standard or defective. The Netherlands government had distributed over 600,000 face mask that had arrived from China to front-line medical teams. However, it recalled all these masks after their filter did not work as intended despite having a quality certificate.
“The rest of the shipment was immediately put on hold and has not been distributed. Now it has been decided not to use any of this shipment,” a statement from the Dutch government reads. A spokesperson for a hospital in Eindhoven of the Netherlands said that Chinese suppliers were selling “a lot of junk… at high prices.”
Spain and Turkey slammed China after they found the testing kits were not accurate thus failing to ascertain if the patients had Coronavirus. Later it came to fore that the manufacturing company Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology did not have an official license from Chinese medical authorities to sell its products. About 80 percent of the 150,000 coronavirus test kits the Czech Republic procured from China were found to be faulty. As of April 1, Slovakia had order over one million coronavirus test kits for payment of €15 million ($16 million), which Slovakian Prime Minister Igor Matovič said were inaccurate and unable to detect the virus. “We have a ton of tests and no use for them. They should just be thrown straight into the Danube (river),” he said.
Nepal also has advised its hospitals not to use any test kits from China over substandard quality. The poor Himalayan country spent millions of rupees to purchase these kits. Malaysia also had a bad experience with the testing equipment as they were defective. Noor Hisham Abdullah in the Ministry of Health said Malaysia would evaluate the new kits for accuracy before handing over them to health professionals. Philippines, Croatia, Turkey are among such countries, which have raised concerns over the poor quality of medical equipment sold by China.
A global pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed over 72,700 people across the world by the end of the first week of April, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The number of confirmed cases has also crossed the 1,280,000-figure. The issue of defective equipment has added to the problems being faced by health workers. About 14 percent of health workers in Spain are infected with Covid-19 due to shortage of reliable equipment. As the viral infection and deaths surge across the globe, an enormous level of contagion has caused among the medical personnel.
Many of the countries reports showed the testing kits donated by Xi Jinping led the Communist Party regime also were unreliable and controversial. Zdenek Hrib, mayor of Prague, said “This isn’t a humanitarian gift or aid. From China’s perspective, it’s business.” There are allegations made by many European countries that China had bought the medical equipment including testing kits from them some time ago and now started selling them the same equipment as humanitarian aid. With the increased demand for masks, China has ramped up its manufacturing units and has sold over four billion masks to foreign countries since March, as per Zhang Qi, official in the National Medical Products Administration.