Nation to boost global medical supplies

China Daily|Updated: 2020-04-07

Staff members arrange medical supplies at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province, March 21, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Chinese government will ramp up efforts from various departments to accelerate the process of exporting crucial medical supplies to the world, while strictly controlling product quality, a government official said on April 5.

Zhang Qi, deputy director of the Department of Medical Device Regulation of the National Medical Products Administration, said at a news conference that together with other concerning government units, the department will further enhance the quality supervision of the medical equipment related to pandemic prevention and control.

As COVID-19 quickly spreads across the world, the global community is facing a shortage of medical supplies. China's supervision departments and domestic medical equipment manufacturers are working around the clock to offer as much quality medical goods as possible to ensure a stable global supply.

Since April 1, exporters of medical products including COVID-19 testing kits, medical face masks, medical protective suits, ventilators and infrared thermometers have to provide extra documentation when these goods go through customs. Customs authorities release the exports based on a registration certificate approved by medical product administrations, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Zhang said that the National Medical Products Administration has taken measures to ensure the quality of exported supplies, including throughout the raw material procurement, production control and product release processes.

Violations of laws and regulations would be severely dealt with, she said.

Speaking of recent media reports on China exporting problematic masks to certain countries, Jiang Fan, an official with the MOC's foreign trade department, said those reports did not objectively reflect the truth.

"There are differences between quality standards in different countries or regions, and also between usage methods, plus some quality doubts are results of improper usage," Jiang said.

Despite the ongoing battle with the outbreak in China, the Ministry of Commerce said China has not and never would restrict the export of medical supplies and will continue to provide the supplies it has to help other nations fight the virus.

According to the ministry, as of Saturday, 54 countries and three international organizations have signed medical procurement contracts with Chinese enterprises, and more agreements are expected to be signed with another 74 nations and 10 international organizations in the near future.

According to the General Administration of Customs, from March 1 to Saturday, China inspected and exported up to 10.2 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) worth of epidemic prevention and control supplies, including 3.86 billion face masks, 37.52 million units of protective clothing, 2.41 million infrared thermometers, 16,000 ventilators, 2.84 million detection kits, and 8.41 million pairs of protective goggles.