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Situation concerning protective equipment of health and social services further improved

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 17.6.2020 12.03 | Published in English on 17.6.2020 at 16.42
Press release 158/2020

The availability of personal protective equipment has further improved in June. At the moment, the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has slowed considerably in Finland, which explains the further decrease in the use of most protective equipment.

According to the situation report for week 25, the use of surgical mouth-nose masks, for example, has reduced by about one third compared to a month ago. The estimates of sufficiency are the same as two weeks ago. 

Hospital districts, municipalities and private health and social services companies are making approximately 90 per cent of the procurements of personal protective equipment in Finland. The purchases of established procurement organisations are supplemented with purchases by the National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA), which are based on procurement proposals by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. A total of six proposals for the procurement of personal protective equipment have been submitted.

With a mandate from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, NESA is maintaining a situation picture regarding personal protective equipment during the coronavirus epidemic. NESA is compiling a national situation picture with regards to the sufficiency and use of personal protective equipment of health and social services as well as ensuring their availability.

Information regarding the current situation is based on data from health and social services actors (the national coordinating group for national preparedness, the “Logistiikka 5” workgroup) and information of NESA’s own purchases and storage status.

Every two weeks, an updated summary of the current situation is compiled and published on the websites of NESA and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The previous summary was published on 3 June 2020. Because the COVID-19 epidemic has slowed in Finland, it will not be necessary to issue a press release on the current situation of the epidemic on a regular basis.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will monitor the situation actively and issue information about changes in the situation picture as necessary.  NESA will publish a summary of the situation picture in August.

Need for personal protective equipment varies per product category

A sufficient supply of personal protective equipment is essential during the coronavirus pandemic. The considerable increase in demand within a short period of time, together with the decreased availability, has had an impact on the sufficiency of different personal protective equipment.

Currently, it is estimated that hospitals require approximately 300,000 surgical nose-mouth masks per day. The demand in the rest of the health and social services sector is approximately equal, resulting in a total daily requirement of 600,000 pieces.

It is estimated that approximately 22,000–56,000 respirators (FFP2 and FFP3) are required daily.

It is estimated that approximately 55,000–180,000 pieces of protective clothing are required daily.

Estimate on the sufficiency of personal protective equipment 

The sufficiency of different types of personal protective equipment can generally be described on the following scale: excellent, good, moderate, mediocre, poor.

Based on current information and guidelines for use, the sufficiency and procurement status of different types of personal protective equipment is currently as follows:

The sufficiency of surgical nose-mouth masks is currently good (the same as before).

  • The availability of surgical nose-mouth masks has continued to improve.

The respirator (FFP2 and FFP3) status is moderate (the same as before).

  • NESA is still negotiating with international suppliers regarding long-term supply contracts.
  • Negotiations are underway with suppliers starting their domestic production and orders have been placed.

The protective clothing status is good (the same as before)

  • The international supply of protective clothing has improved, and Finnish manufacturers have started to supply such garments.

The protective glove status is good (the same as before).

  • NESA has an existing long-term supply contract of protective glove deliveries and orders are being placed with other suppliers as well.

The protective visor status is good (the same as before).

  • The national and international supply of protective visors is good.

Sufficiency needs to be assessed regularly

In emergency conditions, estimates of sufficiency change considerably as the epidemiological situation develops and the official guidelines are updated, and that is why it is important to assess the situation regularly.

The sufficiency of personal protective equipment is affected by their appropriate and correct use. On the other hand, due to the international market situation there are still uncertainties related to the procurement and delivery of personal protective equipment.

Although the main responsibility for procuring personal protective equipment lies with university central hospitals, hospital districts, municipalities and healthcare and social welfare units, NESA also surveys the protective equipment market, negotiates with suppliers and aims to build long-term models of cooperation with different actors regarding deliveries of personal protective equipment. NESA also builds and guarantees longer-term logistics chains in order to ensure the availability of personal protective equipment.

Inquiries:

Lasse Ilkka, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 29 504 3714, 
Janne Känkänen, Interim Chief Executive, National Emergency Supply Agency, tel. +358 29 505 1012