BRUSSELS – Mask stocks destroyed without replacement? 

A stock of around 6 million FFP2 type face masks purchased at the time of the A/H1N1 flu was destroyed last year on behalf of the Belgian government after the masks had exceeded their expiration date, Le Vif found.

According to the newspaper report, since then, strategic stocks in Belgium have not been replenished since 2009, no new masks were ordered after destruction.

Le Vif was given access to the destruction report, prepared by the Risk Management Group (RMG), a group of experts advising the FPS Public Health, and the minutes of a 6 February meeting.

The RMG warned there would be a shortage of masks and asked whether the government could build up a strategic stock again, but according to the report this has not happened.

To stay in the loop with how Belgium is handling the crisis, check EURACTIV’s regularly updated country page.

(Alexandra Brzozowski |

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