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Masks, Marin and the mass cottage exodus

Should we all wear face masks or not? APN reviews mixed messaging over the use and availability of masks and more.

Maskeja
Finland initially claimed to be ready for the coronavirus crisis but then found it lacked an adequate supply of protective masks for hospitals to use. Image: Alexander Piragis / AOP

Do we have enough face masks and respirators in Finland? Should everyone wear a face mask when out and about? And why did the head of Finland's national stockpiles have to resign just days after the New York Times declared that 'the prepper nation of the Nordics' was not at all worried about supplies of protective equipment?

We answer those and more questions in this week's podcast.

APN spoke with Yle political journalist and A-studio presenter Katri Makkonen who said that the protective mask fiasco has been the biggest obstacle that Finland has faced during its handling of the coronavirus crisis.

This week's All Points North podcast delves into all the news around the coronavirus situation in Finland. You can listen to the full podcast via this embedded player, Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your normal podcast player using the RSS feed. Be sure to subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts.

Story continues after audio.

Audio: Yle News

The mask crisis took the spotlight over the past week as reports emerged of a dubious multi-million-euro deal for protective gear that resulted in the resignation of the head of the National Emergency Supply Agency, Tomi Lounema.

The spectacle was the culmination of the agency's scramble to try and secure enough protective gear for hospital use, after it was discovered that Finland didn't have as much of the equipment that it initially said it had.

Makkonen said that the second major issue that Prime Minister Sanna Marin's government has had to tamp down involves mixed messaging over the use of face masks by the general public.

That drama kicked off when the director general of the public health agency THL recommended the use of of do-it-yourself fabric masks by ordinary people. However the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health quickly issued a contradictory advisory cautioning against the use of masks by the general public.

"At the moment, Finns really don't know if we should wear masks or if we shouldn't," Makkonen concluded.

APN also reviewed other major developments such as the surprise early rollback of the isolation of the Uusimaa region, in which the PM asked people not to immediately rush to their summer cottages.

Join the conversation

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, just contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter account, or at yle.news@yle.fi.

This week's show was presented by Egan Richardson and Denise Wall and produced by Priya Ramachandran D'souza. Our audio engineer this week was Pekka Nisu.

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