Around 42 million personal protective equipment (PPE) items are currently languishing in the Estonian Stockpiling Agency's (EVK) warehouses. Purchased at the peak of the Covid pandemic, finding a use for the stock is not easy, ERR reports.
EVK board chair Ando Leppiman told daily Postimees (link in Estonian) that the PPE purchases, made by the Ministry of Finance and the State Shared Service Centre (RTK), took place in 2020 and 2021, when demand was high worldwide and consequently at a premium price.
At the same time, the PPE items have a shelf-life, which in some cases has already passed.
"When the EVK took over the management of the stock at the end of 2021, products expiring in 2022 accounted for nearly a tenth of all the stock, while approximately 40 percent more will expire in 2023," Leppiman added.
However, some of the stock has been transferred free-of-charge to hospitals, doctors, the police, the Rescue Board, and educational and social welfare institutions, he added.
"At the same time, we have to take into account that the state's PPE formulated while keeping in mind the demand during the pandemic, though this differs tens or even hundreds of times compared with the volume of normal consumption for some product groups," Leppiman went on.
Editor: Andrew Whyte