IS: Stockpile agency sacks two over failed face mask purchases

The agency spent millions on face masks that were not good enough to use in hospitals. 

A consignment of masks arrived at Helsinki-Vantaa airport in April, but they were not good enough to use in hospitals. Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle

Ilta-Sanomat is reporting that two employees at Finland's preparedness unit have been fired following the purchase of sub-standard respirators for millions of euros.

National Emergency Supply Agency (Nesa) had suspended Asko Harjula and Jyrki Hakola from their posts on 11 April, after the agency spent 10 million euros on face masks from a reality TV star and an indebted payday lender.

Neither provided medical-grade equipment, with the shipment that did arrive failing tests at the VTT Technical Research Centre.

According to STT, Hakola had signed the contract for the sub-standard masks.

On Good Friday, the agency's boss Tomi Lounema resigned over the scandal, to be replaced by interim head Janne Känkänen.