PNP's Guy calls for investigation into fake PPE to public health staffTuesday, September 21, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Opposition Spokesman on Health and Wellness, Dr Morais Guy, has called for an urgent investigation into the procurement and distribution of counterfeit 3M-standard Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which he alleges has been distributed to at least two health centres in Jamaica.
In a statement from 3M, dated August 9, 2021, the company issued a counterfeit alert on the 8210 model of the N95 face mask of specific lot codes stating that “there is a significant risk that they are counterfeit and should not be used.” The company also added that it is working with law enforcement to remove the counterfeits from the market.
Dr Guy, in his statement released Tuesday, called for the immediate withdrawal of the substandard PPE from hospitals and other health staff and demanded the Integrity Commission to immediately investigate and identify the source of the fraudulent supply to the Government of Jamaica, as two of the fake batch codes have been recognised among the purchases by the government. He said these fake masks have been issued to hospitals and operating theatre staff since last weekend.
“I cannot understand how the procurement system at the Ministry could be so lacking to allow the purchase of essential supplies such as PPE through third-party sources without proper due diligence,” Dr Guy said.
He demanded that the Ministry of Health immediately tightens its activities to ensure that staff are fully protected in an environment of scarce or dwindling supplies of specialised gear. He further added that the procurement administration must also ensure no repetition of this episode, especially during the continuous pandemic, when many fake sources are in the market to exploit the situation.