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Monday’s papers: Personal protective equipment, cross-border shopping, ancient remains

The impact of Covid-19 is still the big story in Monday’s news agenda.

Suomalaiset rajavartijat tarkistavat kulkulupia Tornion ja Haaparannan välisellä rajanylityspaikalla.
The Finnish-Swedish border on the Tornio river is quieter than usual. Image: Timo Heikkala / Lehtikuva
Yle News

Ilta Sanomat reports that an “international company” has offered to supply the National Emergency Supply Agency (Nesa) with over 90 million face masks and respirators, but that the agency has yet to respond.

According to emails allegedly seen by the newspaper, the protective equipment listed in the offer - including nearly 21 million FFP3 respirators and 33 million face masks - would cost officials 256 million euros.

IS claims the offer arrived in the week following Easter (12 April), and that officials are under pressure from the company to make a decision on taking up the offer before the equipment is sent elsewhere.

The stockpile unit's acting CEO Janne Känkänen told the paper, “We have received, and continue to receive, a huge number of offers from many different sources.”

“Under the Act on the Openness of Government Activities, we cannot discuss other offers or parties in public,” he said.

Swedish stores miss Finnish customers

Meanwhile, Lapin Kansa reports from the Swedish border town of Haparanda, where shops are feeling the effects of travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The town’s Ikea is much quieter than usual, according to the store’s marketing manager, Henrik Eneros.

"Our customers' purchasing habits have changed. We receive a lot of online and telephone orders, which we deliver to the Finnish side," he told the paper.

The town’s COOP supermarket is also missing its cross-border customers, many of whom had been attracted by a new liquor store next door.

Store manager Christer Lundqvist told Lapin Kansa he was nervous about how long the travel restrictions could last.

“Hopefully this stop caused by the coronavirus will not last very long. In the summer, in addition to Finns, Norwegians will come to the city, and losing them would be a big setback,” he said.

“In summer, each week is like Christmas week,” he added.

Shipwreck discovered

And finally, Helsingin Sanomat brings us a story about a ship that sank off the shore of Helsinki’s Kaivopuisto 100 years ago.

The wreck, measuring 17 metres long and 5 metres wide, was discovered during work to prepare for development of the area around the islands just off the city’s south coast, currently home to the Finnish Yacht Club.

It’s thought that it sank some time before the year 1909, as the area it now rests in was closed off by a breakwater after that date.

John Lagerstedt, an archaeologist at the Helsinki City Museum told HS that carrying out this kind of survey before starting construction work was standard practice.

“During construction it’s always a priority to avoid important artefacts,” he said.

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