TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the world continues to grapple with the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, many countries have turned to China for face masks, including Germany.
German tabloid Bild reported on Monday (May 4) that since the beginning of the outbreak, the government has purchased more than 100 million masks from China for use in hospitals and clinics, however, 20 percent of them were found to be substandard.
When Deutsche Welle (DW), asked the German Federal Ministry of Health for comment, spokesperson Teresa Nauber confirmed that around 20 percent of the masks “do not conform to standards.” But Nauber also added, “This does not mean that these masks cannot be used for medical purposes.”
The Federal Ministry of Health is planning to return some of the below standard masks, DW reported.
The health ministry has now set up two rounds of inspections to address the problem, an initial inspection in China before shipment and another round after the masks arrive in Germany, according to DW.
A logistics person involved in the import and export of masks in Germany told DW that part of the problem was that before the COVID-19 outbreak there was no uniform international standards on mask quality.
According to DW, as of April 23, Germany had already purchased around 160 million masks from China.