Faulty Chinese Face Masks in Spain Forces Around 1,000 Medical Staff to Self-Isolate, as Officials Worry they May Have Contracted the Coronavirus

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MANU FERNANDEZ / AP

THE Ministry of Health in Spain admits that the lack of protective gear amidst the coronavirus crisis has increased the number of positive cases by around 15 per cent.

More than a thousand health professionals have been put into isolation and thousands will have to undergo a SARS-CoV-2 screening after being exposed to the coronavirus whilst using defective masks which were identified in an order from Friday. There is no specific figure regarding how many people have used these faulty masks.

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For starters, the Ministry of Health his unsure of how many masks in the batch, if 350,000 or 400,000, do not meet the necessary safety requirements. This protective material arrived in order to alleviate the need of equipment that health professionals have been protesting about since the beginning of the crisis, in mid-February.

So far this lack of equipment has led over 31,000 medical staff to become infected with the coronavirus, with dozens of professionals passing away as a result (34 doctors so far), although the real figure is surely higher than this. Amongst the nursing staff alone, they estimate that there around 70,000 positive coronavirus cases.


Even the Ministry of Health has recognised the important relationship between the infected and the lack of protective material, as they have published a report, Scientific and technical information on the disease of coronavirus-19, which highlights this importance. The report explains that one of the causes for this “high contagion” level is the fact that staff was “unduly protected.”

The batch of masks, acquired from the Chinese firm Garry Galaxy, was intended to partially alleviate the equipment deficit that has proved to be a constant since the start of the pandemic. That protective material was found to be defective on Friday. And by then it had been in use for 10 days, because it was distributed in the middle of Easter. This makes it even more difficult to know who was affected.


Communities are already in the process of identifying the possible victims. The strictest measures have been taken by Murcia, who has already isolated more than 1,100 professionals. Andalucia has also detected 12 positive cases, and the Balearic Islands, which used 2,800 units out of a 30,000 piece batch.





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