Huge quantities 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 private protecting equipment, or PPE, based on a report from CNN following a months-long investigation. With Unexplored having skyrocketed around the world, an underground trade based mostly round reusing PPE has emerged in Southeast Asia, with the shoddy medical tools having in flip discovered its method into the international supply chain. According to the CNN investigation, tens of hundreds of thousands of soiled, second-hand nitrile gloves have reached the United States, with the potential to put frontline healthcare workers and sufferers at risk.
Criminal investigations at the moment are underway in both the United States and Thailand, nonetheless the true scale of the problem could additionally be far higher than it seems at first blush. As international locations around the globe struggle to maintain up with PPE demand, world shortages are set to stay a difficulty within the coming years, giving rise to fly-by-night outfits attempting to make a fast buck. Adding to the issues faced by US authorities, import rules related to protecting medical tools had been briefly suspended within the wake of the pandemic, and stay so to this present day.
As one professional advised CNN, nitrile gloves are the “most harmful commodity on Earth right now”. Meanwhile, a US businessman, who positioned an order for about US$2 million of gloves from Thai-based company Paddy the Room, described receiving washed and recycled gloves, a few of which “had bloodstains”, noting he “couldn’t consider my eyes”. The gloves ultimately found their approach to a landfill, with the businessman notifying US authorities.
CNN cites a Food and Drug Administration assertion that import under the relaxed guidelines is only allowed “as long as the gloves conform to the consensus requirements and labelling cited in 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 via the cracks.
While the FDA did send an alert to its port employees that shipments from Paddy the Room required detention with out bodily 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 legal investigation into the company.
Thai FDA brokers raided the Paddy the Room last December, arresting the proprietor of the warehouse, nevertheless have been unable to deliver expenses towards the tenant, a Hong Kong resident. The company, in the meantime, merely relocated its operations.
Deputy Secretary-General of the Thai FDA, Supattra Boonserm, informed CNN that “they just moved to a different location, to another warehouse.”
“And why is that? Because the demand for gloves is still excessive. There are nonetheless prospects waiting out there.”

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