(Reuters) – Finland said on Monday it plans to place between June and August orders for protective equipment and respirators worth 100 million euros ($109 million) to fight the coronavirus and prepare for a possible upsurge in demand for the equipment.
The 5.5-million nation has said infections from the novel coronavirus are slowing. Last week, it allowed children to return to daycare centers and elementary schools, in an easing of its coronavirus-related restrictions.
“The corona epidemic will continue to slow down, but we are prepared for the fact that the disease situation may change in the future and the demand for protective equipment may increase from the current level,” Health Minister Aino-Kaisa Pekonen said in a statement.
The procurement plan includes at least 9 million surgical mouth and nose pads, at least 1.5 million respirators, up to 150 million nitrile gloves and 6 million protective jackets and aprons each.
Finland has recorded 6,579 infections of the new coronavirus and 307 deaths, according to state health statistics.
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; editing by Barbara Lewis)