One of the most enduring tales of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic has been the shortage of supplies. On the consumer level, this has manifested as a complete shortage of hand sanitizer, gloves, cleaning supplies and, of course, toilet paper.
In the medical field, the lack of enough hospital beds, ventilators, and facemasks has been a serious thorn in the side of doctors.
Piling on top of this shortage, the Netherlands has issued a recall for tens of thousands of facemasks imported from China. According to the official release by the Dutch government, the facemasks were not up to quality standards and would be unable to adequately protect medical professionals from the novel coronavirus.
As the Netherlands continues to search for proper protective equipment for the novel coronavirus, doctors in the country are fighting against the disease. The Netherlands currently has over 12,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Troublingly, of those confirmed cases, 845 were reported just the day before this writing.
At the time of this writing, the European country has had 1,039 deaths due to the disease. Of those, 175 were recorded the day before this writing.
That means that the disease is still on the upswing in the country, and the response is escalating to accommodate the massive uptick in infections.
Currently, the Netherlands has 11,306 active cases, as 250 patients have recovered from the virus. Of the active cases, 1,053 are “critical,” meaning that the people in question are in a serious, life-threatening condition. While the Netherlands scrambles to address the pandemic, the last thing they needed was a massive shipment of facemasks to be recalled.
The massive shipment of masks was received from China by Dutch officials on March 21, when inspection began. However, the pressing need for masks all over the Netherlands led to the masks being distributed widely throughout the country before the inspection for quality was completed.
As such, when the inspection was finally done, the masks had already been in use in hospitals throughout the country. This could have led to thousands of doctors being exposed to the coronavirus, which could, in turn, lead to another spike in cases.
“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,” reads a statement from the Dutch government.