Reports of Chinese medical products ‘substandard’ not objective: official

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/5 17:41:14

Photo taken on Jan 28 shows employees working at a medical products firm in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province. Photo: Xinhua

Responding to so-called "quality concerns" of Chinese medical products being exported, an official at China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said Sunday that some media reports are not objective enough, and do not reflect the whole picture but only blame the products for being "substandard."

There are multiple reasons that might have caused the Chinese-made medical supplies to be considered unqualified: different standards of quality between China and other countries, and user habits are different. Inappropriate use could even raise doubts on quality, Jiang Fan, a first-level inspector of the Department of Foreign Trade at MOFCOM, told a press conference on Sunday.

"For instance, the batch of Chinese-made non-surgical masks exported to the Netherlands were distributed to local hospitals," said Jiang.

According to preliminary investigations by relevant Chinese authorities, the masks were purchased by Dutch agency companies. Chinese enterprises had informed the Dutch side that the masks were for non-medical purposes before delivery, and procedures for the export declaration were carried out in the name of "non-medical masks," Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said at a press briefing on Thursday.

Questions over the quality of Chinese-made masks have gained much attention after Dutch authorities ordered a recall of 600,000 masks from China, citing a variety of issues including masks not fitting health workers' mouths properly and not having sufficient filters. Dutch officials said that the KN95 masks should filter out at least 95 percent of airborne particles, but the masks couldn't filter them out.

Dutch Medical Care Minister Martin van Rijn said on his Twitter account on Sunday that "This morning, another shipment came in from China with 938,000 type IIR surgical masks. These have all been tested according to the guidelines of the National Institute for Health and Environment and approved for issue. Good news for the fantastic healthcare staff."

China will enhance communications and deepen cooperation with relevant countries and regions, including the Netherlands. "Tougher measures should be adopted to regulate the quality of medical exports amid the special period of coronavirus prevention worldwide," Jiang said.

Starting Wednesday, exporters of medical products including COVID-19 testing kits, medical face masks, medical protective suits, ventilators and infrared thermometers need to provide extra documentation when they go through Customs clearance, according to MOFCOM.

Meanwhile, China also hopes that overseas buyers of medical products would purchase from suppliers whose products have been registered with Chinese regulators, verify product quality before using them, and strictly follow the operation procedures and scope of application, the ministry said.

Global Times


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