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Medical gear modelled on Chinese runway



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This season's must-have is not a flashy designer handbag but breathable, disposable protective medical gear -- as seen on models striding along a catwalk in northeastern China.

Although the country's economy was battered by coronavirus lockdowns early this year, industries quickly bounced back: exports of medical products like masks have rocketed.

Over the weekend, hopeful Chinese manufacturers showcased their wares in Liaoning province at a protective clothing expo -- for example, touting thicker but more airy gear that helps doctors to sweat less wearing them.

Potential buyers could see models sashay past wearing the gear -- and not limited to coronavirus suits, but also showcasing firefighters and power maintenance outfits, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

"Our medical protective products, including the masks and protective clothing, are expected to have a total export volume of more than 70 billion US dollars this year," Li Lingshen, deputy head of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, told CCTV.

Overseas shipments of textiles, including face masks, had surged 33 percent in the first 11 months according to customs figures this week, with governments abroad putting in place measures to contain the virus.

But economists have cautioned that many Covid-related purchases will not happen again, with vaccines around the world soon expected to be rolled out.(AFP)