Coronavirus: Hong Kong Customs warns public of second faulty batch of surgical masks

Staff writer
  • All four samples had no manufacturing place labels
  • They are believed to have come from Southeast and West Asian countries
Staff writer |

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In this picture taken on on April 16, 2020 pedestrians wear face masks, as a precautionary measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Hong Kong. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP)

Hong Kong Customs has found faulty surgical masks and has warned the public to stop using them.

As part of an ongoing operation to inspect personal protective gear sold in the city, they found four types of surgical masks with bacterial counts exceeding the maximum permitted limit by 0.2 to 1.35 times.

All four samples had no manufacturing place labels. The border authority believes they came from Southeast and West Asian countries.

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They searched four retail spots on Tuesday located in Causeway Bay, North Point and Sheung Shui, comprising a pharmacy, a grocery store, a shop selling daily necessities and a fruit store.

Four directors, three men and one woman, aged between 34 and 54 were arrested. No further seizure of the four types of surgical masks was made.

To date, Customs has already test-purchased over 160 types of surgical masks for tests on bacterial counts. A total of 111 samples have been tested for bacterial count, among which 103 samples of surgical masks complied with the bacterial count standard.

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Previously, they found another four samples over the limit in March.

Customs reminds members of the public to observe the following tips when purchasing and using surgical masks:

Read carefully the instructions on the packages in the purchasing process;

Check if there is any damage or dirt on the packages and stop using surgical masks with stains or odd smells;

Pay attention to the proper way of using surgical masks;

Change surgical masks at a suitable time;

Store surgical masks in dry places; and

Purchase at reputable retail shops.

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