COVID-19: China tightens quality checks of medical exports as complaints galore


PTI, Apr 10, 2020, 8:34 PM IST

Beijing: China on Friday stepped up quality checks on exports of medical products being used to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic amidst a string of complaints from several countries about the faulty and substandard supplies.

India and several other nations are in the process of procuring a host of medical goods like ventilators, masks and personal protection equipment (PPE) from China.

However, over the last few weeks, numerous nations – including Italy, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Croatia, Turkey, Spain and Nepal – have complained about substandard or faulty medical products shipped from China.

The Chinese customs authority on Friday announced that it will take stringent quality checks on 11 categories of medical exports essential for COVID-19 control and treatment.

Medical masks, protective suits, goggles, ventilators and seven other categories of medical products will undergo a mandatory quality examination before their shipment to other countries, state-run People’s Daily reported.

The new rule takes effect immediately, the report said.

In the wake of the recipient countries questioning the quality of much-needed personal protective equipment made in China, the authorities recently rolled out stricter regulatory measures to ensure the quality of medical exports.

Chinese exporters were asked to provide documents to customs to show that their exports have obtained a registration certificate for medical devices from the State Food and Drug Administration and met the quality standards of the importing country or region.

As Chinese manufacturers are working around the clock to meet the surging global demand for medical materials to beat the pandemic, allegations emerged questioning the quality of Chinese supplies, the report said.

The alleged faulty Chinese medical masks were for non-medical uses and Chinese officials told overseas buyers to “double-check the instructions to make sure what they purchase can serve their intended purposes and avoid making mistakes in a rush”, it said.

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