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Spain: Government recalls hundreds of thousands of defective facemasks made in China

The Spanish Ministry of Health has ordered a recall of 350,000 facemasks for being defective. The masks were manufactured by Garry Galaxy, which is on the Chinese’s governments list of approved manufacturers.

The masks are FFP2-type surgical facemasks, which medical personnel who regularly deal with patients infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) need to reduce the possibility of getting infected themselves. According to European standards, FFP2 masks must protect against more than 94% of particles; the Garry Galaxy masks were found to allow between 18 and 29% of particles through, according to a report by El Mundo. Most such masks test at only 1 or 2%.

The Ministry of Health indicated that the masks had been seized before they were used and that a fresh batch of masks that meets European standards was expected from the same company. Health officials in several Spanish regions have indicated that the defective masks had already been used by some hospital staff, however. CSIF, the union for public employees, has threatened to sue the Ministry of Health in the country’s Supreme Court for this and other failures it has demonstrated in response to the pandemic. This will also force those facilities which received the defective masks to conduct even more coronavirus tests on their own personnel.

Last month, Spain had also returned over 50,000 defective coronavirus testing kits that were also produced in China, as their effectiveness was only 30%, whereas the standard European success rate is 80%.

Spain currently has the most cases of coronavirus infection in Europe, and the second-highest death rate from the disease.

Voice Of Europe
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