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Coronavirus: Masks and respirators discussion
  • 163 Replies sorted by
  • @Vitaly, You are very critical of the lifestyle of people who live in capitalist countries. Criticism is beneficial. But it must not be unilateral, otherwise it becomes propaganda. Can you tell us about the shortcomings of communism?

  • @flash

    What is wrong with propaganda?

    ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause

    the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement.

    Look at the state of virusology - it is horrid, lot of amazing people and researchers sit in private labs fighting for patents and publishing in private journals, most do not have proper access to research of their competitiors. Leading companies are much worse, some of them ahve security that far exceed one you can see in Apple.

    Moving form htis shite will save hundreds of millions of lives. Hence why it is important to use propaganda.

    In a proper time I'll tell you about shortcomings in socialism, as nothing is perfect and never will be. But in proper time.

  • In proper time ? What is proper time ? I feel something bad from this answer...

  • @flash

    On your place I'll expect something good both from proper time and my answers. :-)

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  • While I completely agree (and wear a mask everywhere), Australia looks like it is also on a downward trend. However this can also be attributed to population density.

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  • Pin Yang, mask manufacturer - China -

    Due to strict regulation placed in US, the only acceptable mask that they can sell is N95 certified masks, which only 13 factories can have the certificate to produce it in China. UPDATE:08/04/2020 NOW THE CDC FINALLY ACCEPTED KN95 MASKS. Many country responded to covid-19 much earlier than US, so they came to the Chinese factories much earlier and purchased all future productions. For now, new orders will only be accepted in May-July, depending on the factory. On the other hand, normal medical (disposable) masks is not in short in China, people can get as many as they like.

    New update, due to raw material price rocketed, the price for N95 masks has risen 10 fold of original. The price are confidential so i can just give you all a rough idea. I just had a US customer declined our quote, they cant rise the sale price due to state regulation of stabilizing market price. I have heard their domestic supply can get half price of what we quote, but i am not sure what was the quantity they can get from the US supplier, just hope they will be fine. Good luck to you all.

    I have saw the news of New York hospitals were facing a major overwhelming situation. Probably this will be soon for other states. It is heart breaking. For those people who in need of masks and not price sensitive, i advise you go contact your Chinese friends and ask if they have any Chinese local to get some KN95 masks. Its Chinese equivalent of N95. It can not be sale in US supermarket but it was accepted by CDC to get for personal protection. Slightly overpriced but saves life.

    Craig Reynolds, USA

    My stepson’s father-in-law is the CEO of a pharmaceutical conglomerate in China (I will not for obvious reasons name the company). They converted their entire manufacturing facility over to produce KN95 masks. They offered to ship me as many as I wanted if I thought I could sell them and I was going to do just that, but now I don’t dare! Why?

    Because some states have become so desperate that their governors have ordered the State Police (here’s looking at you New Jersey) to confiscate without compensation and redistribute to hospitals any PPE they become aware of. That has made the situation in the US just that much worse because people like me can get masks or other needed items are unwilling to risk having our inventory seized.

    I and likely many others are unwilling to place a large order today, only to have it seized at the port upon arrival. I’m in California and I have heard nothing about that happening here yet, but anything can change in a day. Also, the federal government could suddenly order the seizure of any inbound PPE products privately purchased. I can’t take the chance and because of that, there is a lot of medical personnel dealing with a lack of supplies here that I could have helped remedy.

    Oh, and before anybody starts making assumptions, I was ONLY going to sell in bulk to the medical community or first responder. Not retail and not to individuals. Also, it would have been at a standard markup, no price gouging, so don’t even go there with your comments or I will delete them and turn off commenting.

    Danielle Fraser. Canada

    One issue that people do not realize is that the cost of raw material varies with demand. Especially since the raw material suppliers may not even be able to obtain enough materiel to meet a sudden 50 fold increase in demand. So to get enough material, a company has to outbid other companies also wanting that raw material. So even if they want to there is no way to hold prices and if another company bids more than you, they may not get raw materials at all.

    Most people have no clue about supply chain management and what it takes to ramp up production of something when there is a sudden demand surge.

    Near where I live is a paper mill that is a major supplier of the paper used in masks. They were previously running its machines about 84 hours a week. Now they have doubled that. to 168 hours a week. That is all the hours available.

    A new paper machine takes a couple years to order, build and install. As well the special sort of pulp needed can only come from certain trees and there are only so many such trees available.

    Newsprint and other paper machines cannot make paper of the needed grade.

    Peter Elliott,

    It’s hard to know how to write this without being rude, but I’ll try. Donald Trump put 25% tariffs on face masks some time ago. The face mask manufacturers eventually found other markets in other parts of the world. Those other parts of the world are now asking for as many masks as can be supplied and the supply lines are in place to those countries, not to America. Donald Trump kindly offered to temporarily suspend the 25% tariffs for the duration of the pandemic.

    If you were a face mask manufacturer, would you establish another supply line to sell to the US, only to get a tariff slapped back on in 6 months? And that when other countries are taking all you can manufacture. I know I wouldn’t. Once bitten twice shy.

    So to all those people getting righteous about all medical supplies - not just face masks, it’s called chickens coming home to roost and I’m really sorry for your pain, but please place the blame where it belongs - Trump tariffs.

    S J Zhu, China: Here are some facts:

    FDA keeps denying KN95 masks are reliable though WHO makes sure they are nearly equal to N95 ones.

    FDA charges management fees of 5000 dollars per year from manufacturers for a N95 certification. In common years, this is barely all the profit of selling N95 masks. So facilities gave up using that production line, while they reuse it for America specially this month but finally refused by FDA because the overdue certification.

    Trump claims Chinese products to be poisonous but American factories were importing semi-finished masks and assembling so that they can claim these all American-produced masks and sell them at maybe a 5-time price.

    Oh, and for the last thing, China now ban semi-finished medical equipment all.
  • New product: extends the life of disposable masks

    mask pads attach by friction to the inside of face masks, allowing reuse of masks. 100 pads 52 RMB, around $7.50 USD.





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  • @jleo

    I strongly suggest to post any Chinese products only after they have independent test that it matches N95 standard, even KN95 respirators do not match it usually (up to 70% of them).

    And this "attachment" is really some markting genius idea (because he could not get masks production line :-)).

  • I wouldn't trust any product meant to protect people from this virus from china.....there's strong evidence china hid the seriousness of this pandemic so their western opponents wouldn't benefit at their expense. They sold masks made out of underwear to pakistan. Sadly that's the state of affairs.

  • @kurth

    For now it is around 90% of all masks and respirators that are being made in China.
    And China is the only country that seriously ramped up production (in thr west all production icnrease happened in useless cloth masks part).

    Yes, due to big profits it is lot of questionable products now. But it is not China fault, it is capitalism fault.

  • @Vitaliy ...the chinese communist party controls the chinese capitalist, and the chinese communist party is responsible for the containment, or lack of, strategy that caused the world wide pandemic, not even considering the accidental or otherwise release of the virus. If it was intentional, it's easy to see how manufacturing standards would be relaxed for ulterior motives. Where I live, 3m masks are readily available. Chinese version cost about 2/3.

  • @kurth

    Just stop. "Communist" party do not control most of the things, except some key areas.

    And actully most of the small amd mid business state and approach is actually your best dream - similar to WWW times in US.

  • @Vitaliy....who's talking about mom and pop businesses, although their business model have to fit within certain party ideals. Nothing like western post wwii business models. And most likely they aren't producing masks. The mask factory video that @jleo posted showed large capital investment. And the party controlled every oligarch's rise. You think alibaba or huawei just appeared from hard work and amazing tech. Just like cia pushed amazon. Amazon wasn't a profitable business model until it's 600million dollar contract with cia in 2013...Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc. Anyone puts the word communist in bad light and you have a fit. It's just called the chinese communist party. It could as easily be called the chinese totalitarian party or the chinese peoples party , just like the repubs and dems are cover for american oligarchs.

  • @kurth

    No one talks about "post WWII", I am talking about Wild Wild West :-)

    Your issue is that you barely know real China.

  • great video

  • China’s Export Restrictions Strand Medical Goods U.S. Needs to Fight Coronavirus, State Department Says: Products made by 3M, Owens & Minor, PerkinElmer sit in warehouses; GE ventilator production line in Wisconsin nearly brought to a halt.

    New Chinese export restrictions have left American companies’ U.S.-bound face masks, test kits and other medical equipment urgently needed to fight the coronavirus stranded, according to businesses and U.S. diplomatic memos.

    Large quantities of critical protective gear and other medical goods are sitting in warehouses across China unable to receive necessary official clearances, said some suppliers and brokers.

    Asked about the complaints of export problems, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday that China wants to ensure the quality of exported medical products given their importance. “Countries across the world are all hunting for medical supplies, causing a big challenge for China’s efforts of quality control and regulation of export,” the Chinese Embassy in Washington said.

    China is an almost irreplaceable supplier, making more than 40% of the world’s imports of masks, gloves, goggles, visors and medical garments, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    Suppliers said the urgent demand has created a “complete sellers’ market,” with prices changing daily as factories, inundated by offers, dictate minimum purchasing quantities and buying conditions.

    “China’s between a rock and a hard place,” said Solomon Matzner, the Shanghai-based founding partner of BioAktive Specialty Products who assists U.S. and German institutions in sourcing KN95 masks. “They need to get as much product out as possible, but on the other hand, Chinese products are being criticized for quality.”

    Forget about quality, just ship them!

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has asked China to revise new export quality control rules for protective equipment needed in the coronavirus outbreak so they are not an obstacle to timely supplies, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department said.

    China tightened restrictions on exports of masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) a week ago, calling for shipments to be subjected to a mandatory customs inspection.

    The move followed highly publicized complaints from some governments and hospitals that they received PPE from China that they considered faulty.

    “We appreciate the efforts to ensure quality control. But we do not want this to serve as an obstacle for the timely export of important supplies,” a State Department spokesman said late on Thursday.
  • @jleo

    China can't just ban this kind of exports, it will be really bad looking. So they just make things like so called Italian strike. Follow the rules precisely.

    Also this situation perfectly showed that China is capitalist country and not socialist. As in any socialist country such firms behaviour and such approach to masks production will result in highest measures of social protection.

  • According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 95 percent of surgical masks and 70 percent of respirators used in the US are made overseas, and China is one of the biggest producers.

    Note that second part is possible only with big bribes and also involved changing many laws to significantly lower prepareness to chemical and biological attack.

    In reality you needed 3 full face masks per each citizen (2-3 half masks and around 40-50 long time use filters). ALl stored in special goverment storage.

  • Pritzker arranging secret flights from China to bring millions of masks and gloves to Illinois

    Gov. J.B. Pritzker is planning to obtain millions of masks and gloves from China and bring those supplies back to Illinois on charter jets — but he’s keeping the details secret out of fear the Trump administration might seize the cargo for the federal stockpile, sources said Tuesday.

    Illinois state Comptroller Susana Mendoza said Tuesday that the state has spent more than $174 million on purchases related to COVID-19, including supplies such as ventilators, masks, gloves, gowns, protective eyewear and hand sanitizer.

    Among the list of expenditures: two invoices, each for $888,275, to FedEx Trade Networks Transport for “aircraft charter flight to Shanghai, China for COVID-19 response. ... Prepayment required.”

    “The supply chain has been likened to the wild West, and once you have purchased supplies, ensuring they get to the state is another herculean feat. These flights are carrying millions of masks and gloves our workers need. They’re scheduled to land in Illinois in the coming weeks and the state is working to ensure these much needed supplies are protected and ready for distribution around the state.”

    A source knowledgeable about the flights said the governor didn’t want to release details “because we’ve heard reports of Trump trying to take PPE in China and when it gets to the United States.”

  • On DIY like masks

    There is limited knowledge available on the performance of various commonly available fabrics used in cloth masks. Importantly, there is a need to evaluate filtration efficiencies as a function of aerosol particulate sizes in the 10 nm to 10 μm range, which is particularly relevant for respiratory virus transmission. We have carried out these studies for several common fabrics including cotton, silk, chiffon, flannel, various synthetics, and their combinations. Although the filtration efficiencies for various fabrics when a single layer was used ranged from 5 to 80% and 5 to 95% for particle sizes of <300 nm and >300 nm, respectively, the efficiencies improved when multiple layers were used and when using a specific combination of different fabrics. Filtration efficiencies of the hybrids (such as cotton–silk, cotton–chiffon, cotton–flannel) was >80% (for particles <300 nm) and >90% (for particles >300 nm). We speculate that the enhanced performance of the hybrids is likely due to the combined effect of mechanical and electrostatic-based filtration. Cotton, the most widely used material for cloth masks performs better at higher weave densities (i.e., thread count) and can make a significant difference in filtration efficiencies. Our studies also imply that gaps (as caused by an improper fit of the mask) can result in over a 60% decrease in the filtration efficiency, implying the need for future cloth mask design studies to take into account issues of “fit” and leakage, while allowing the exhaled air to vent efficiently. Overall, we find that combinations of various commonly available fabrics used in cloth masks can potentially provide significant protection against the transmission of aerosol particles.