Story By: Ernest Bio Bogore, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
Belgian hospitals have reportedly been left without enough face masks after the government ordered 100,000 unusable masks – which were packed alongside animal poo.
Local newspaper De Tijd reported having access to an exchange of e-mails between the hospitals in question and the Flemish Health Agency (Vlaams Agentschap Zorg en Gezondheid) which showed the masks are not of good quality and are not certified.
A media report says that the masks were supposed to be FFP2 masks for healthcare personnel in contact with patients infected with COVID-19 but the masks received “were allegedly produced for industry and not for the healthcare sector.”
Dirk Dewolf, the agency’s chief executive officer, warned the hospitals that the masks in question were unusable, saying: “In the absence of a trademark, we feel it would be best not to use them for direct contact with COVID-19 patients.”
The RevArte hospital in Antwerp, a city on Belgium’s River Scheldt, also said that they were completely unusable with Hospital Director Ludo Splingaer saying: “It turned out that they did not come from China, as has been said, but from Colombia.
“They were packed in boxes of used bananas and cornflakes, which is against regulations. In one box we found animal excrement.
“As a result, we still don’t have enough appropriate masks to protect our staff”.
In response to the hospitals, the Flemish health agency said that it could not take over the work of the customs or control services, so the masks had been able to slip through the net.
The agency assured local media that it would investigate how the masks ended up being delivered.
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