Huge portions of used medical gloves shipped from Thailand to US

Huge quantities of used medical gloves have been shipped from Thailand as shady operators search to cash in on Covid-fuelled demand for personal protective equipment, or PPE, according to a report from CNN following a months-long investigation. With demand having skyrocketed around the world, an underground trade primarily based around reusing PPE has emerged in Southeast Asia, with the shoddy medical tools having in flip found its means into the worldwide supply chain. According to Explode , tens of tens of millions of dirty, second-hand nitrile gloves have reached the United States, with the potential to position frontline healthcare employees and sufferers at risk.
Criminal investigations at the second are underway in both the United States and Thailand, however the true scale of the problem may be far higher than it seems at first blush. As international locations around the globe wrestle to keep up with PPE demand, world shortages are set to stay a difficulty within the coming years, giving rise to fly-by-night outfits making an attempt to make a fast buck. Adding to the problems confronted by US authorities, import laws related to protective medical equipment have been briefly suspended in the wake of the pandemic, and stay so to today.
As one professional told CNN, nitrile gloves are the “most harmful commodity on Earth right now”. Meanwhile, a US businessman, who placed an order for about US$2 million of gloves from Thai-based firm Paddy the Room, described receiving washed and recycled gloves, some of which “had bloodstains”, noting he “couldn’t imagine my eyes”. The gloves finally discovered their way to a landfill, with the businessman notifying US authorities.
CNN cites a Food and Drug Administration assertion that import beneath the relaxed rules is just allowed “as long because the gloves conform to the consensus requirements and labelling cited within the steerage and where the gloves do not create an undue risk”. However, lack of bodily checks at US ports has created the potential for PPE to slide through the cracks.
While the FDA did ship an alert to its port workers that shipments from Paddy the Room required detention with out physical examination, this occurred 5 months after two US businessmen had raised the alarm. Department of Homeland Security officials confirmed to CNN that there’s an ongoing criminal investigation into the corporate.
Thai FDA brokers raided the Paddy the Room final December, arresting the proprietor of the warehouse, however have been unable to convey charges in opposition to the tenant, a Hong Kong resident. The company, meanwhile, merely relocated its operations.
Deputy Secretary-General of the Thai FDA, Supattra Boonserm, informed CNN that “they just moved to a different location, to a different warehouse.”
“And why is that? Because the demand for gloves remains to be excessive. There are still clients waiting out there.”

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