What Switzerland urgently lacked at the beginning of the corona pandemic is now in abundance: the army procured over 300 million masks on behalf of the federal government last year. Far too much, as it turned out later.
Now the army is trying to get rid of the masks at a ridiculous price. The health service has needed fewer masks than originally feared, which is why many hygiene and FFP2 / FFP3 masks and disinfectants will reach their expiration date by the end of 2022, the army pharmacy announced. Cantons, municipalities as well as old people’s and nursing homes can now purchase the material at a “heavily discounted price”.
1 centime per piece
The federal government wants to prevent masks that were bought for a lot of money in the spring from having to be destroyed. As can be seen from the documents of the Defense Department, which it has published itself, the masks are sold for 1 centime each. Cantons, municipalities and old people’s homes are only allowed to buy the goods for their own use, clarifies the army. “Resale is excluded.” Aid organizations even get the masks for free.
The disinfectant is free for everyone. Because according to its own statements, the federal government did not pay anything for it – it was a gift from the industry.
140,000 masks have already expired
According to the army, almost 140,000 protective masks have expired so far, and almost 30 million masks will expire in this half-year. According to the federal government, the sale of almost 40 million masks is planned. The sale should therefore bring a maximum of CHF 400,000 back into the coffers of the federal government. Given the procurement costs, that’s nothing. But the army still prefers to throw the masks in the garbage. (lha)