By Staff The Canadian Press

Posted April 2, 2020 2:47 pm

4:30Coronavirus outbreak: Inside the frontline fight for masks, protective gear

WATCH ABOVE: Inside the frontline fight for masks, protective gear

Scores of countries have moved to restrict the export of face masks, gloves and other medical supplies critical for front-line workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving Canada and others scrambling to source products that now have higher price tags.

Simon Evenett, a professor of international trade at Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen, says 68 countries have curbed exports of medicine or personal protective equipment — also known as PPE. He calls the move “inhumane” and a potential “death sentence” for some of the world’s most vulnerable patients.

On Tuesday, China responded to complaints from Europe about ineffective coronavirus test kits by tightening standards around certification of medical goods for export.

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The decision aims to clamp down on defective products, but could have the effect of slashing supply from a country that produces half of the world’s PPE.

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