Counterfeit PPE: Substandard respirators and their entry into supply chains in major cities

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.26250/heal.panteion.uc.v3i2.290

Keywords:

illicit trade, corruption, financial crime, supply chains, COVID-19

Abstract

Over 58 million counterfeit respirators of substandard quality unable to protect individuals from infection have been seized globally since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. These seizures have primarily occurred in urban warehouses and ports around the world according to analysis of public and corporate data shared with the authors. The presence of tens of millions of respirators in storage facilities prior to distribution demonstrates that urban areas are key elements of illicit supply chains. Data suggests that the concept of urban insecurity needs to be reconsidered in light of illicit supply chains for counterfeit respirators and their role in facilitating disease transmission in urban areas. The analysis presented in this article suggests that threats to human life should not be confined narrowly to violent acts or the consumption of drugs. Human life can also be threatened through the massive distribution of counterfeit N95 masks during a pandemic, a problem that has become more acute with more contagious mutations of COVID-19.

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Published

2022-09-30

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Articles