People work at a workshop producing face masks in Tangshan, north China's Hebei Province, March 30, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
China has stepped up supervision of the quality of epidemic prevention and control products for export, as well as the scale of those exports, which reached 55 billion yuan ($7.7 billion) in March and April, an official said on Sunday.
Supplementary notice on quality supervision was posted on Saturday to further guarantee that the quality of medical supplies has priority. The previous document was published on March 31.
According to the State Administration of Market Regulation, China has inspected 15.89 million business operators and seized 89.05 million defective masks and defective disinfectants worth 7.6094 million yuan, and it has imposed fines of 348 million yuan.
For example, six mask manufacturers in East China's Anhui Province recalled 119,000 masks because the filtration efficiency rate was lower than the national standard, as shown on the website of the Anhui Defective Products Administration.
In addition to quality supervision, China has expanded its exports. As of Saturday, the governments of 74 countries and regions and six international organizations had signed 192 commercial procurement contracts for medical supplies with China, with a total value of $1.41 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).
China has never restricted exports of prevention materials for COVID-19, Li Xingqian, head of the foreign trade department of the MOFCOM, told a press briefing.
From March 1 to Friday, China examined and approved exports of major epidemic prevention materials worth 55 billion yuan, including 21.1 billion masks, 109 million protective suits, 32.94 million pairs of goggles, 110,000 sets of patient monitors, 9.29 million infrared thermometers and 763 million pairs of surgical gloves, according to the General Administration of Customs.
"China is always willing to help the international community fight the coronavirus pandemic, as shown in the slogan 'One World, One Fight'. Only when all countries have succeeded in the battle against the COVID-19, can the global economy get back to a normal level," Hu Qimu, senior fellow at Sinosteel Economic Research Institute, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Apart from willingness, the fast-growing level of exports can be attributed to emergency license approvals by the National Medical Products Administration for enterprises that have shifted to making medical devices to meet the demand for epidemic prevention.
China has approved 30 certificates for test reagents for COVID-19, with a daily output capacity of 9.025 million as of Friday. There were also 357 certificates for medical protective outfits, 889 for medical surgical masks, 72 for ventilators and 409 for infrared thermometers, the National Medical Products Administration said on Sunday.