Finland finds masks bought from China unsuitable
Two million masks purchased by Finland from China to protect themselves from the new coronavirus are not suitable for use in hospitals, the Finnish government admitted on Wednesday.
Health Minister Aino-Kaisa Pekonen posted a twitter photo on Tuesday of the arrival at Helsinki airport of the first shipment of the two million surgical masks and 230,000 respirators arriving from China, adding that the equipment would be ” checked and tested ”before use.
But on Wednesday, Finnish officials discovered that the masks did not meet the standards for protection against the coronavirus required for use in a medical environment.
“This is of course a little disappointing,” said permanent secretary of the health ministry Kirsi Varhila at a press conference.
The masks could, however, be used, for example, by caregivers who visit their homes, she said.
Other European countries have had the same unpleasant surprise with equipment from China, because the Chinese market is “very chaotic” because of the high demand for masks, according to Tomi Lounema, in charge of logistics to fight the pandemic.
“The prices keep going up, you have to buy quickly and pay in advance,” he explained. The commercial risk is very high ”.
In recent weeks, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey and Australia have had to return masks purchased in China.
The Finnish government has not disclosed how much it paid for the non-compliant equipment.
Finland announced Wednesday an envelope of 600 million euros (C $ 917 million) which will be devoted to protective equipment, medical equipment and drugs.
Finland counted Wednesday 2,487 officially registered cases of COVID-19 and deplored 40 deaths.