Frontline professionals who are fighting Covid-19 in Brazil received masks of the KN95 type from the Ministry of Health, considered unsuitable for those who deals directly with those infected by the virus. The National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance (Anvisa) I had already advised against buying hospital supplies.

According to a document released on Thursday (18) by the newspaper FSP, the agency's presidency pointed out on January 13 that the material was not suitable for use in hospitals. Still, the Federal Government maintained the distribution of the equipment.

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In the text, the agency states that it received complaints from hospitals, state governments and health professionals warning about the fact that the masks are inadequate. Anvisa also warns of the need to use an efficient type of protection in hospitals.

In addition, the “non-medical” notice appears on the product packaging. However, the Ministry of Health warns that the company that supplies the material has proved the equipment's efficiency through tests.

Previous alerts

In June 2020, Anvisa had already prevented the use of the equipment after the United States Regulatory Agency (FDA) suspended the use of masks because it found no evidence of their effectiveness against the virus in hospital settings.

In a note sent to the Folha de S.Paulo report, Anvisa informed that the mask is currently with “a valid sanitary measure to suspend marketing, distribution and imports for use in health services”. And that “respirators have failed to demonstrate the minimum filtration efficiency required”, he adds.

The company responsible for supplying the masks deemed unsuitable was Hong Kong's Global Base Development HK Limited. The contract was signed on October 5 in the amount of US $ 132 million (about R $ 660 million), as shown on the Ministry's website. Each piece costs U $ s 1,65 and 40 thousand were purchased. The figure also includes another 200 thousand simpler masks, worth US $ 0,33.

The Ministry of Health has not yet ruled on the case.

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