China has sold nearly 4 billion masks, other essentials valued at 10.2 billion yuan

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on April 06, 2020

China, which has emerged as the largest supplier of the essentials required against the novel coronavirus, has sold around four billion masks to countries that are still struggling with the outbreak, officials said on Sunday, Agence France Presse reported.

This came after some countries, including the Netherlands and Spain, showed their disappointment over the quality of the essentials that were supplied to them by China.

Beijing has encouraged factories to increase the production of medical supplies as the pandemic kills over 60,000 globally and parts of the world face a protective equipment shortage.

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, customs official Jin Hai said, to more than 50 countries, as per the report by AFP.

She added the country's medical supply exports were valued at 10.2 billion yuan ($1.4 billion).

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

China said the manufacturer "stated clearly that (the masks) are non-surgical."

Chinese officials hit back on Sunday at media reports over defective medical supplies, saying that they "did not reflect the full facts,” AFP report added.

"In reality, there are various factors, such as China having different standards and different usage habits to other countries. Even improper use can lead to doubts over quality," said Jiang Fan, an official with the Ministry of Commerce.

China retorted that the countries have not read the instructions properly and that is why they are complaining about the standard of the products.

Earlier this week, Beijing tightened regulations for export of coronavirus medical equipment, requiring products to fulfil both domestic licensing standards and that of the destination countries.

China has also increased its production capacity of Covid-19 testing kits to over 4 million a day, said Zhang Qi, an official with the National Medical Products Administration.

Published on April 06, 2020

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