Health

China earns billions selling faulty coronavirus equipment to nations in need

Pakistan Forward and AFP

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Workers produce medical gloves at a factory in Huaibei, Anhui Province, China, March 23. [STR / AFP]

The Chinese regime has been earning billions of dollars selling masks and other protective equipment to foreign countries since March in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, yet a growing number of nations are complaining about substandard or faulty medical products.

Beijing, in a bid to appear as a benevolent power amid the crisis, has exported medical equipment all around the world, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Although Chinese cases of COVID-19 are dwindling, Beijing has encouraged factories to increase production of medical supplies as the pandemic has killed almost 90,000 globally.

China has exported 3.86 billion masks, 37.5 million pieces of protective clothing, 16,000 ventilators and 2.84 million COVID-19 testing kits since March 1, Chinese customs official Jin Hai said earlier this week, with orders to more than 50 countries.

However, a host of countries -- including the Netherlands, the Philippines, Croatia, Turkey and Spain -- have complained about substandard or faulty medical products shipped from China.

Two million protective masks purchased by Finland turned out to be unsuitable for use in hospitals, the Finnish government admitted Wednesday (April 8).

The face masks did not meet the required standards of protection against the coronavirus for use in medical environments, officials found.

Last week, the Dutch government recalled 600,000 masks out of a Chinese shipment of 1.3 million that did not meet quality standards.

Spain also rejected thousands of rapid testing kits sent by an unauthorised Chinese company after it found last week that they were unreliable.

Similar complaints about the Chinese goods are growing worldwide.

Rewriting history

Beijing's bid to appear generous comes amid its continuing efforts to deflect blame for the coronavirus pandemic, which has up-ended the world, by spreading conspiracy theories.

After officials realised that the virus that originated in China was wreaking untold global havoc, the Chinese disinformation machine began working.

The European Union, NATO, and the G7 have all come out against the Chinese regime for continuing to spread damaging disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, endangering lives worldwide and undermining democratic societies.

International concern is also growing about the accuracy of the information coming from Chinese officials, who now claim there are no new cases of the virus in Wuhan, where the virus originated.

If Chinese officials had been transparent about the novel coronavirus at the beginning, the world would be in a much better position right now to battle COVID-19, say leading observers.

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