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Coronavirus: Italian finds protective masks are made in Wuhan - and now China wants them back

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The masks being brought in Italy were manufactured in Wuhan
The masks being brought in Italy were manufactured in Wuhan   -  
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Europeans have been buying protective masks in a bid to protect against the coronavirus outbreak.

But, in a bizarre twist, one Italian woman found the one she bought had come from Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus.

Twitter user Lara, who works at an airport in Rome, told Euronews that she "got equipped" with her own mask during the "alarmism, fake news and confusion with information".

She added: "I prefer to protect myself by wearing it."

But after buying it, she noticed a key detail on the packaging which said the product had come from Wuhan, China.

LaraElle28
The product packaging lists Wuhan as its original destinationLaraElle28

It was produced in April last year — therefore much earlier than the outbreak of the virus — and had been distributed by Italian pharmaceutical company Farmaczabban.

Dr Maria Catena Ingria, who works with Farmacie Igea, where Lara's mask was purchased on January 28, said orders for such masks were made months in advance and arrived in Italy every day. They are ordered from Wuhan, she confirmed.

But this outbreak of the coronavirus has led to pharmacies across China reporting a shortage of the masks - and has meant they are now asking for them back.

"Some of the approximately 2,000 we receive every day we keep for us, and some we send to them," Ingria said.

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There are currently nine confirmed cases of coronavirus in Europe, with four in both France and Germany and one case in Finland.

No cases have so far been confirmed in Italy.

In China, nearly 6,000 cases have been confirmed, with the death toll reaching 170 on Wednesday.

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