THE HAGUE (AFP) - Dutch officials have recalled tens of thousands of masks imported from China and distributed to hospitals battling the coronavirus outbreak because they do not meet quality standards, the health ministry said on Saturday (March 28).
They received a delivery of masks from a Chinese manufacturer on March 21, the ministry said in a statement to AFP.
They received a first indication that the masks did not meet their standards when they were inspected.
Part of the shipment had already been distributed to health professionals, the statement said. "The rest of the shipment was immediately put on hold and has not been distributed.
"A second test also revealed that the masks did not meet the quality norms. Now it has been decided not to use any of this shipment," said the statement.
Future shipments would undergo extra testing, the statement added.
The recall concerned nearly half of the shipment of 1.3 million masks, known as FFP2 - 600,000 had already been sent to hospitals, the public television channel NOS reported.
The problem with the masks was that they did not close over the face properly, or had defective filters, the station added.
France's Health Minister Olivier Veran has announced that he had ordered more than a billion masks, notably from China, to help the country fight the coronavirus pandemic.