$200,000 worth of surgical masks intended to protect citizens from the coronavirus are being recalled by the City of Toronto after failing to meet safety standards.
“The City of Toronto discovered yesterday that a recently-purchased order of more than $200,000 worth of surgical masks do not meet the specifications the City requires for such masks and took immediate action, recalling these masks,” claimed a news release by Toronto’s Media Relations.
“Four-thousand boxes containing 50 masks per box were received, and 1,252 boxes, or 62,600 masks, were distributed to the City’s long-term care homes on March 28.”
The masks sent to the nursing homes were reportedly ripping while being used.
“The loss of this inventory makes for a significant shortfall of surgical masks for the city,” said the news release.
While the vendor has agreed to refund the city for the costs, the name of the company will not be released due to potential “legal recourse” according to Toronto spokesperson Brad Ross.
The loss is forcing the city to dip into a backup stockpile while it places a new order for replacements.
Canada has been plagued by a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) due to a lack of stockpiling.
According to Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam, Canada is looking into disinfecting and reusing masks as a last resort to combat supply shortages.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Saturday that Canada would be receiving “millions” of masks from China to distribute to healthcare workers.