China releases $1.44 billion worth of medical supplies for export
China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) on Sunday said it has examined and released 10.2 billion yuan (1.44 billion U.S. dollars) of supplies exports for the coronavirus containment since March 1.
Jin Hai, chief of the GAC's Department of General Operation, made the statement at a press conference briefing the latest on medical supply management.
The press conference was also joined by officials from the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), the State Administration for Market Regulation and the National Medical Products Administration.
As of Saturday, China had signed commercial procurement contracts for medical supplies with 54 countries and three international organizations, according to the MOFCOM.
MOFCOM official Jiang Fan noted China is committed to providing support and assistance to relevant countries and regions within its capability.
"China didn't and will not restrict the export of medical supplies," Jiang supplemented.
Foreign reports calling some of the medical supplies exported from China defective are not based on facts, responded Jiang.
"A number of reasons attributed to such misunderstanding, such as varied quality standard and misoperation," added the official.
A batch of face masks for non-medical use exported from China to the Netherlands was distributed to local hospitals.
Some European media outlets then claimed that some masks purchased by the Netherlands from China amid the COVID-19 pandemic do not meet quality standards.
Jiang emphasized that China will strengthen communication and deepen cooperation with relevant countries and regions, including the Netherlands.
"If there are problems in procurement, it is recommended that enterprises of both parties conduct full communication in accordance with the contract and consultation-based market principles."
China also reiterated strict control over the quality of medical supplies exports to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
It asked exporters of medical products including COVID-19 testing kits, medical face masks, medical protective suits, ventilators and infrared thermometers to provide extra documentation when they go through customs clearance.