About half a million face masks that Belgium ordered to make up for the shortages in residential care centres have been blocked since this spring because some of the boxes were missing necessary stickers.
The problem with the stickers has since been rectified, according to Het Nieuwsblad, but according to the procedure, the Federal Public Economy Service may not approve the batch of perfectly usable KN95 masks a second time.
As a result, the stock has been blocked in a warehouse in Ghent for several months. The cost of the whole operation amounts to €829,000, including VAT. €721,000 for the masks and €108,000 for the transport.
Flemish MP for the rightwing N-VA party Lorin Parys called on the new federal Minister for Economy Pierre-Yves Dermagne to consider a re-inspection, adding that his predecessor, Nathalie Muylle, refused, reports De Standaard.
Flemish Minister for Welfare Wouter Beke confirmed the problem, but emphasised that they are working on a solution, reports the Belga press agency.
The Brussels Times