The protective masks purchased by Onni Sarmaste, fast-loan businessman, have been banned from use, the Center for Security of Supply (Huoltovarmuuskeskus, in Finnish) says in a press release.
The masks have been withdrawn from use at care facilities in North Savo, according to local authorities. Healthcare officials in the region said they withdrew the masks from use on Wednesday after it was revealed they caused allergic reactions among staff who used them.
According to Yle, Leila Pekkanen of the region's local health authority said, "The masks caused allergic reactions on the skin in other regions, so we did not use any of them."
The Security of Supply Center says that it has asked to stop using the masks.
Masks arrived in Finland last week were previously found to be unsuitable for hospital use. The authorities assumed that they could be used in care units.
The first protective masks have already been submitted to VTT for examination.
On Friday it emerged that the National Bureau of Investigation (Keskusrikospoliisi, in Finnish) was looking into the purchase. They suspect aggravated fraud involving the 10-million-euro purchase.
Superintendent Tomi Taskila of the NBI said, "At this stage, we are focused on the recovery of funds. This has been hugely helped by the fact that the money laundering investigation unit froze more than two million euros of funds in Finnish accounts last week."
SARMASTE WANTS MASKS BACK
On the other hand, Olli Sarmaste, who has provided masks, wants to test the masks for allergies.
“The masks have not been returned to me and I have not been able to test them for allergies myself,” said Sarmastre.