SWITZERLAND [NEWS SERVICE] ⋅ The expiry date is approaching for some of the masks that the army has procured. The army now wants to sell these and other medical goods to the cantons and municipalities at a very reduced price.
(dpo) In the middle of the first wave of the corona pandemic, hygiene masks were a much sought-after commodity around the world, and their demand rose rapidly. In the meantime it has been shown that the masks and other medical goods such as disinfectants were not needed in such large quantities in this country as was originally feared.
For some of these goods, however, the expiry date is getting closer. The question arises as to what should be done with them. The army’s solution: They want to sell the goods concerned at greatly reduced prices. This mainly affects hygiene and FFP2 / FFP3 masks as well as disinfectants, which expire at the end of 2022, as the Defense Department VBS announced on Tuesday.
Free masks for aid organizations
The sale is mainly aimed at cantons, municipalities and care facilities. According to the notification, the army pharmacy made a corresponding offer to them. The care institutions could obtain the information from the municipalities or the cantonal branch associations. As the DDPS also reports, the goods cannot be resold. Swiss aid organizations would receive the masks free of charge on request.
In March 2020, the army pharmacy was commissioned to procure medical supplies for the healthcare sector. The previously unknown institution has made the headlines several times since then. The controversial deal with the Emix company, when the federal government paid up to 9.90 francs each for protective masks of the FFP2 type, gave rise to discussion.
The army pharmacy recently reported that it had “completely fulfilled” the federal mandate, but had also made mistakes in various areas. For some politicians, such as SP National Councilor Franziska Roth, this admission is not enough. She works to ensure that the mask business is processed by Parliament and the Swiss Federal Audit Office.