Just over a week ago, the Supply Security Center made an historic decision and opened up supply depots.

Päivi Sillanaukee, Director General of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, said that with the opening of the stores, millions of surgical masks, protectors and hundreds of thousands of respirators are being used for the health care field.

On Wednesday, Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (left) announced that the state will procure more protective materials, especially for use by social and health care personnel.

- Millions of euros have been procured. We will continue to purchase, for example, surgical disposable masks, protective jackets, respirators and visors, Pekonen said.

According to Pekonen, there is a worrying message from social and healthcare professionals about the adequacy of protective equipment.

For example, HUS has acknowledged that there have been problems with access to hand pumps, eye protectors and visors.

IS asked Pekonen why even more protective equipment should be scoured already, when the message after opening security stocks was that there was an abundance of material.

- The situation has been quite serious and the coronavirus epidemic has come as a surprise in many sectors. Safety equipment has already been distributed to all hospital districts from the Emergency Response Center. These stocks have not been depleted, we still have protective material in emergency stockpiles, but we want to make sure that there is enough protective material because it looks like the epidemic is continuing and spreading around Finland, Pekonen replied.

- Currently the need is greatest in Uusimaa and the Helsinki metropolitan area, but there is also a slight need in other hospital districts. We do not want to be forced to run out of stocks before being prepared to buy more. That's why we're doing everything we can to fill up the stocks, Pekonen added.

The state is also investigating the launch of domestic production to secure material readiness in Finland. For example, Finnish protective visor production has already begun.

Companies supply smaller batches of materials and equipment directly to healthcare.

Minister for Family and Basic Services Krista Kiuru (sd) said the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will issue a decree requiring a respirator to be used in home care during the coronavirus epidemic.

"This is extremely important for the protection of the client, the same needs to be done for those at risk, for people with disabilities to follow this guide, and for residents of enhanced service housing," said Kiuru.