Finland begins first domestic face mask production

Ministers announced on Wednesday that three companies had started manufacturing protective masks, and that in future Finland should be able to meet all its own requirements.

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Minister of Labour Tuula Haatainen (SDP) announces start of domestic face mask production, 27th May 2020 / Credit: Lauri Heikkinen, VNK

Three Finnish companies have started large-scale manufacturing of protective face masks this week.

Ministers announced on Wednesday that Filterpak, Lifa Air and Teho Filter are the first companies to begin production and that other companies will start their operations in the coming weeks.

“The coronavirus epidemic has highlighted the importance of domestic production” says¬†Tuula Haatainen (SDP) Minister of Labour.

“Neither Finland, nor any other country, was prepared for the fact that all countries were trying to buy the same products from the same markets that were themselves in chaos as a result of the epidemic” the minister explains.

Haatainen says that around 450,000 surgical face masks, which cover mouth and nose, are needed each day in Finnish hospitals – with the same number being needed for other social and healthcare workers: up to a million pieces in total.

In addition up to 66,000 higher grade face masks and 150,000 pieces of protective clothing used by staff treating coronavirus patients are needed every day.

“Domestic manufacturing alone should cover social and healthcare needs for both surgical masks, and the higher grade equipment” says Minister Haatainen.

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