Faulty Chinese Masks Force More than 1,000 Spanish Medics into Isolation

TOPSHOT - This photo taken on January 22, 2020 shows workers producing facemasks at a fact
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More than 1,000 Spanish healthcare workers have gone into isolation after wearing faulty medical masks bought from China.

Spain had ordered 400,000 masks from the communist nation to protect frontline medical staff. However, due to their poor quality, the medics are in quarantine and will undergo testing for the Chinese-born virus.

The masks were acquired from the Chinese-based firm Garry Galaxy, and are believed to have been in use for ten days before it was discovered on Friday that they were defective. Most of the masks have been recalled, yet as some are still believed to be in circulation, according to El País.

“There are people who worked the whole day using a mask that offers ten minutes of protection,” said the General Council of Nursing Associations.

Spanish healthcare workers have been particularly hard hit by coronavirus. Medical staff represent some 15 per cent of all infections in the country, with the Health Ministry citing the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) as the main cause for the high infection rate.

At least 31,000 Spanish healthcare workers have contracted coronavirus. But it is feared that the real number of infections is much higher, with a recent survey conducted by a nurses association finding that some 70,000 nurses have become infected.

The government of Spain is also seeking a refund for an order of 640,000 defective coronavirus antigen test kits from the Shenzhen-based Chinese company, Bioeasy.

The tests were ordered as a replacement for an earlier batch of kits that were found to be defective in March. Examination of the 58,000 tests found that they were not sensitive enough to detect the virus. The kits had an accuracy rate of just 30 per cent, compared to the expected 80 per cent.

After discovering that the sample tests from the latest batch were also ineffective, the government has decided to cancel the entire order from the Chinese firm.

The Health Ministry has refused to disclose how much money was sent to Bioeasy, though it said it is currently in the process of securing a refund.

Reports of faulty Chinese medical equipment have been rampant, with the governments of The Netherlands and the Czech Republic revealing that they were forced to scrap hundreds of thousands of Chinese test kits.

Initially, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) denied that it is shipping out faulty equipment and even bragged that its economy was “roaring” as a result of the global demand for medical equipment. China later backtracked the claims, announcing that it would be restricting exports by companies that do not have the proper licences.

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