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Coronavirus protective gears arriving Finland from China
Published : 07 Apr 2020, 01:07
The delivery of face masks and other protective gears from China to Finland for healthcare workers is under way this week. The order was placed by the Finnish National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA).
Jyrki Hakola, a director at NESA, told local media that two Finnair flights loaded with masks and other protective gears arrived last week and two will arrive this week. More flights from China are scheduled later.
Pekka Tulokas, director for preparedness at the Ministry for Social Affairs and Health, told a Finnish language tabloid Iltalehti that value of the shipments is in the "tens of millions of euros" range.
Two weeks ago, the Finnish authorities opened the country's crisis supply storages of healthcare equipment and masks. Shortages have continued, however, as not all local health providers have kept reserves, even though this is required by the preparedness ordinances, Tuija Kumpulainen, director at the Ministry of Social Services and Health, told the national broadcaster Yle.
The private sector is also rushing to set up Finnish-Chinese solidarity initiatives.
The city of Ähtäri in central Finland -- the Finnish partner in the SnowPanda Education and Research Consortium (SERC) -- was pleased to receive 4,000 respirators from Dujiangyan, its sister city in China's Sichuan Province, last weekend.
Earlier, Ähtäri had participated in an European Union-wide campaign to dispatch protective gears to China at the height of the COVID-19 epidemic there.
Ähtäri Mayor Jarmo Pienimäki told the local paper Viiskunta that the COVID-19 situation was not alarming in the area yet, and so the masks would be donated further for local use.
In central Finland, LH Lift Oy, a small family-owned company producing tractor couplings both at home and in China, purchased and donated 1,600 respirator filters to the local health district in Jyväskylä.
As of Monday afternoon, Finland had confirmed 2,167 coronavirus infections. Twenty-seven patients have died and 81 are in intensive care, according to the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare.