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Finland: Chinese face masks fail tests

The respirators arrived in Finland on Tuesday.

Finnish hospitals are looking for more PPE. Image: Pasi Takkunen / Yle

A consignment of face masks and personal protection equipment (PPE) that arrived in Finland from China on Tuesday are not up to standard, according to the director of Finland’s National Emergency Supply Agency, Tomi Lounema.

The equipment was tested at labs in Tampere run by the Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT.

The Ministry for Health and Social Affairs says that the masks could be used in care homes to prevent staff from passing on coronavirus, but not in hospitals.

Lounema said at a press conference on Wednesday that Finland would receive four more plane loads of PPE from the Far East next week.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health was aiming for better cooperation between municipalities and businesses in the production of lighter fabric face masks for use in places like nursing homes and for home care workers.

The extent of the PPE shortage was highlighted when it was reported last week that Finnish hospitals received face masks and equipment marked with use-by dates in 2012.