REVEALED: Australia rejected shipments of THOUSANDS of face masks after rip-off merchants bought them from Wuhan and tried to sell them for exorbitant fees
- The federal government rejected medical masks from China for inflated prices
- Minister Greg Hunt said numerous private companies offered to sell supplies
- In one case, an Australian company bought 90 tonnes and tried to sell for profit
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Protective medical masks sourced from the coronavirus pandemic’s starting point in China rejected after they were offered to the federal government at inflated prices.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has said that a number of private companies had sought to sell medical supplies to the government.
In one case, an Australian company payed for 90 tonnes of medical supplies to come from Wuhan and tried to sell them to the government for a profit.
Protective medical masks sourced from the coronavirus pandemic’s starting point in China, were offered to the federal government at inflated prices and knocked back
He said the government wanted to focus on long-term deals and had rejected one-off deals at inflated prices.
‘What we offered and were able to secure was longer-term contracts for volume and time, not one-off inflated purchases,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt (pictured) has said that a number of private companies had sought to sell medical supplies to the government
The minister said that early in the spread of coronavirus, a procurement team together with high-level diplomatic efforts had locked in supply lines of masks, test kits and ventilators.
‘This was tested, refined and endorsed through a rigorous National Security Committee process,’ Mr Hunt said.
‘We foresaw a great global rush for test kits and locked in our supply lines early. We also established procurement teams for masks, test kits and ventilators.’
Though the Australian government has not commented on any issues with the equipment they have received from overseas sellers, other countries have had issues.
The governments in Britain, Turkey the Netherlands and Span have all reported they have received defective testing kits from China.
In one case, an Australian company payed for 90 tonnes of medical supplies to come from Wuhan and tried to sell them to the government for a profit
In the private sector, the huge increase in demand has led to claims of profiteering, with prices for N95 masks rising sharply.
The impacts of high demand have seen prices for masks in pharmacies throughout NSW and Victoria to jump from $1.30 to $38.50.
A chemist in Sydney’s Top Ryde, which has a large Chinese and Asian population, was allegedly selling a box of 50 face masks this week to $400 a pack in February.
While in April, a whistleblower revealed how he watched essential medical equipment being purchased from Australian pharmacies then shipped to China during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.