Updated: Mar 30
The store's management agreed without hesitation to donate the masks, which were bought during the latest bird flu outbreak and then forgotten about, for the benefit of people that needed them more.
As many European countries impose lockdowns on their populations to tackle the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, Sweden appears to be adopting a more relaxed approach.
As of March 29, Sweden had 3,700 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and 110 deaths. Ultimately, given the uneven and relatively modest spread of the virus in Sweden at the moment, its initial strategy may not turn out to be reckless.
But going forward, Sweden is likely to have to impose stricter restrictions depending on how the virus spreads.
Amidst this pandemic, every country in the world is facing a shortage of essential medical supplies. People are buying face masks and hand sanitizers causing the shortage everywhere.
Meanwhile, this Swedish IKEA store came to the rescue. Their stuff found forgotten 50,000 face masks in their warehouse. The masks were bought at the times of bird-flu. Later they forgot about it. He said, those masks were just gathering dust in the store’s warehouse. So, they decided to donate those masks seeing the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Johan Andersson, the store's logistics boss whose team found them, had just read that hospitals were suffering from a shortage of masks amid the coronavirus outbreak so he rang up Sahlgrenska University Hospital - Sweden's biggest - in Gothenburg and asked if they were interested. He told them that he wanted to donate the 50,000 masks.
Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg is the biggest hospital in Sweden. An 85-year-olds woman who has been infected by the coronavirus has been treated in this hospital and died on Friday afternoon.
The hospital staff was overwhelmed by Mr Anderson's offer. He loaded all the face masks and jam-packed it using the company's transport car. The hospital received the masks at their time of need.
As in many other countries hit by the coronavirus, the Swedish healthcare system is at risk of running short of certain medical supplies.