90,000 PPE Kits Imported From China Fail Quality and Safety Checks in India
As frontline healthcare workers in India continue to grapple with a severe shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), as many as 90,000 PPE kits procured from China have failed the quality and safety tests.
Of the 170,000 PPE kits that arrived from China on April 5, 50,000 failed quality tests and have been rendered unusable. In addition, two smaller batches of consignments, comprising 40,000 kits in total, have also failed quality checks. The equipment was tested at the Defence Research and Development Organisation laboratory in Gwalior.
Currently, India is only importing CE/FDA-certified kits, a government official informed The Economic Times. The kits that arrived from China were donations from private companies in India, and did not have CE/FDA-certification. “Kits that are not FDA/CE-approved have to pass quality tests in India,” the same official said.
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China recently also faced criticism from European countries over the quality of its exported equipment. The Netherlands found N95 masks procured from China to be defective and not on a par with their safety standards, while the Spanish government found that a number of Covid19 test kits supplied by China did not accurately detect the infection. However, China brushed off these allegations, urging nations to be careful while ordering the supplies instead. “…double-check the instructions to make sure that you ordered, paid for and distributed the right ones,” Hua Chunying, Director of China’s Foreign Ministry Information Department, tweeted.
Changing tack, China is now requesting countries to only import Covid19-related medical equipment from reputed Chinese firms approved by the government, PTI reported yesterday. “We hope foreign buyers can choose products from companies that have been accredited by Chinese regulators with good production credentials,” said Zhao Lijian, spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs while addressing the media at a press conference in Beijing yesterday. In his address, Lijian also vowed to penalise companies involved in supplying sub-par equipment.
In the meantime, India has ramped up the production of PPE at a domestic level too to meet demands. “Domestic PPE production has increased to 30,000 kits a day, hitting the target a week earlier than scheduled, and is expected to touch 50,000 by the end of the month,” the official speaking to The Economic Times, said.