According to a BBC article, a number of European countries have rejected Chinese-made products for combating the spread of Covid-19 although these products may have proper quality certificates.
According to authorities in Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands, thousands of testing kits and medical masks are below standard or defective, the same article states.
In Europe, as testing for Covid-19 has begun, a steep increase of positive cases together with a spike of Covid-19 related deaths is being reported daily. That has prompted each EU government to immediately invest on testing kits and personal protective equipment. In Italy alone, over 10,000 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported by the country’s health ministry.
What’s wrong with the equipment?
BBC’s article reported the Dutch health ministry had recalled 600,000 face masks which arrived from a Chinese manufacturer on the 21st of March. On the following days, the Dutch health officials reported that although these masks did have quality certificates the front-liners raised some complaints. Either the mask did not fit well or is it just didn’t work as intended.
In a statement released by the Dutch officials, it said that “The rest of the shipment was immediately put on hold and has not been distributed… Now it has been decided not to use any of this shipment.”
The Spanish government ordered test kits from a Chinese company but later revealed that nearly 60,000 tests did not provide accurate results. The Chinese embassy in Spain later claimed via Twitter post that the company behind the kits, Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology was not provided an official license by Chinese medical authorities to sell its products.
Health officials in Turkey also reported that 350,000 of the total tests they conducted did work well. Though in the same report, there had been accuracy issues causing Turkey to totally reject the Chinese product.
World Politics, Covid-19 and China
According to some critics, China could be using the Covid-19 situation to further its influence amidst a pandemic.
Borrell thinks that “China is aggressively pushing the message that, unlike the US, it is a responsible and reliable partner,” Further he says that “Armed with facts, we need to defend Europe against its detractors.”