Earlier this month, we warned that Chinese companies were flooding Europe with shoddy medical supplies, including defective personal protective equipment (PPE).
Unfortunately given the mad rush for supplies as governments around the world scramble to buy them from any supplier available, no matter how shady, there hasn't been enough time to discerningly inspect the equipment, and many dangerous lapses have accrued.
And while stories about defective equipment on the Continent have been ppearing with increasing frequency, this incident from Spain is particularly alarming: Breitbart has reported that more than 1,000 Spanish healthcare workers have gone into isolation after wearing faulty medical masks bought from China.
As Spain moves ever-closer to the May 9 reopening date, the country ordered 400,000 masks from the Chinese to help protect front-line medical workers.
Unfortunately, many of the masks were defective, forcing the workers to undergo testing and enter quarantine following being repeatedly exposed to the virus. The mass exposure will likely result in many testing positive.
The masks were purchased by Spain from a shady Chinese firm called Garry Galaxy; they were reportedly used for about ten days before it was discovered that they were defective.
Spanish newspaper El País reported that the masks have been recalled, yet as some are still believed to be in circulation.
"There are people who worked the whole day using a mask that offers ten minutes of protection," said the General Council of Nursing Associations. Spanish healthcare workers have been particularly hard hit by coronavirus. Medical staff represent some 15% of all infections in Spain, where at least 31,000 Spanish healthcare workers have contracted coronavirus (though some say the number is likely significantly higher due to deliberate undercounting).
Spain also has the worst mortality rate and the highest number of cases per capita in Europe. The severe shortage of PPE has been cited by the Spanish Health Ministry as the main cause.