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Canada will make sure Chinese masks meet quality standards: Trudeau

Last Updated Mar 29, 2020 at 3:14 pm EDT

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says federal health authorities will not cut any corners when it comes to ensuring masks provided by China meet the necessary standards for protecting Canadian health-care workers from COVID-19.

The comment follows reports the Dutch government is recalling around 600,000 defective masks that were recently shipped from China and had been distributed to various hospitals in the Netherlands.

The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa tweeted Saturday that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, prompting a message of thanks from Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

There have been reports of Canadian hospitals rationing masks and other protective gear as they wait for fresh supplies to arrive amid what has become a global shortage of such equipment.

Canada’s chief public health officer Theresa Tam says such measures are pre-emptive as hospitals try to cut down on waste, even as the federal government is pulling out all the stops to secure more protective equipment.

Tam is also urging people to follow Health Canada’s guidance when it comes to making or using their own masks to prevent COVID-19, which is available on the department’s website.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press