The Chinese government is facing a growing pressure from different countries as more and more counterfeit personal protective equipment (PPE) against the coronavirus are being sold by local manufacturers online.
In February, China’s Ministry of Public security has confiscated over 31 million of face masks which were found inferior or fake.
Authorities said, at that time, that they have already arrested some 1,560 suspects who were involved in the production and distribution of counterfeit gears.
This was a result of their strengthened efforts to crack down on vendors who are taking advantage of the COVID-19 panic through fraudulent acts or price gouging.
But just last week, thousands of Chinese-made face masks were pulled offline after probe showed that these were not officially certified by health regulators.
Online sellers from China purposely promoted Valpro Ranger 821, 821V and N95 masks with fake labels of authorizations from the United States’ National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
The world is currently struggling to address the shortage in PPEs which frontliners greatly rely on to protect themselves and their patients from being infected and spreading the deadly virus.
Kerry Bowman, a Canadian bioethicist, said the marketing of counterfeit masks is “profoundly problematic” as the coronavirus cases continue to increase in the different parts of the world.
The growing demand for masks, gloves, respirators, goggles, gowns and other protective gears has prompted illegitimate manufacturers to enter into the market.
Instead of ramping efforts to protect other people from the pandemic, some selfish Chinese sellers worsen the current health crisis that have originated from their very own Hubei province.
International security and health authorities are repeatedly urging the public to be more vigilant and to be leery of this kind of counterfeits.