Rumors about China donating and exporting defective medical supplies to other countries were based on a misunderstand and media hype, reports have found.
Earlier this week, the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment proclaimed there is evidence of dereliction of duty by the National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA) in a COVID-19 protective gear purchase deal that took place the week prior.
It had been established that purchase rules and the need to check the background of intermediaries who did business with NESA had been widely disregarded in the deals, Jari Gustafsson, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, stated at Tuesday's press conference.
Indeed, on April 8, NESA reported that a consignment of 2 million masks and 230,000 respirators purchased from China failed to meet Europe's quality standard for hospital use.
Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, responded to these claims a day later at a news conference by stating that "the masks were purchased through commercial channels and intermediaries on the Finnish side and were declared for export to the Chinese customs under the name of non-surgical masks."
During a phone conversation on Tuesday with Finnish President Sauli Niinist, Chinese President Xi Jinping affirmed Chinas stand on continuing to share its experience in COVID-19 prevention and control with Finland to help the European nation tackle the hardships it is facing, as many other nations worldwide, by providing more medical supplies.
Niinist conveyed his gratitude towards China's support and help in supplying medical and anti-epidemic equipment, and expressed his hope to enhance cooperation between the two countries to overcome the pandemic.
Low-quality face masks
Rumors claiming inferior quality of face masks coming from China have been spreading around the Netherlands, Spain, and the Czech Republic, which were later proven to be false.
In response to media reports that the Dutch Health Ministry recalled a batch of masks purchased from China due to quality problems and unsuitability for ICU use, the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded on April 2 with a statement confirming that based on preliminary investigations, the masks in question were for non-medical use only, and that the Chinese company had informed the Dutch side of this detail before shipment.
In Spain, reports from several local media outlets came out in in late March claiming that quick-test kits from China had shown a very low accuracy rate in testing for COVID-19, which the Shenzhen-based test kit manufacturer, Bioeasy Biotechnology, debunked, suggesting that incorrect results may come from failures in collecting samples or by using the kits incorrectly.
As for the Czech Republic, local news website irozhlas.cz first published a story with the shocking headline "Coronavirus rapid tests from China have an error rate of up to 80 percent," but found only days later that the interviewee who gave the faulty figures had not read the instructions correctly, with the results improving after the correct method of use had been applied.
The Chinese embassy in both Spain and the Czech Republic have played a crucial role in exposing the truth and resolving any potential conflict between all sides, while the exporters of the medical products have been asked to provide extra documentation to prove all products meet the quality standards of their export destinations before they can go through customs clearance.
Chinese manufacturers are working around the clock to meet a surging global demand for medical supplies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which shows not only China's strong commitment to saving more lives, but also the tremendous global trust in medical supplies made in China.
Editor: Crystal H