Kesko involved in international coronavirus testing collaboration, Kesko personnel to be tested

Kesko and ten other Finnish companies have launched a project aiming at nearly doubling the number of coronavirus tests performed in Finland. Capacity will be increased by organising an air freight connection for samples to Mehiläinen’s partner laboratory in South Korea.

Mehiläinen will conduct the tests in Finland, after which they will transported for analysis to South Korea on Finnair charter flights. On the return journeys, the flights will carry protective gear and materials needed for collecting samples.

The collaboration operated by Mehiläinen was launched on 1 April. The aim of the project is to enable the analysis of 18,000 samples over the next two weeks. The test results will become available within about two days after the samples are taken.

The collaboration agreement and operating model will apply to the employees covered by Kesko’s occupational health care.

“This collaboration is a result of our agile way of working, which is necessary in exceptional times like these. We joined this new operating model because we want to test our employees to identify possible infection cases more quickly. This will help us prevent the spread of the disease to the rest of our personnel and customers,” says Matti Mettälä, Vice President, Human Resources.

Initiated by Mehiläinen, the privately funded operating model has been enabled by a number of the largest employers in Finland from various industries in the trade, financial and export sectors, including Ensto, Fazer, Kesko, KONE, Metso, Metsä Group, Neste, OP, UPM-Kymmene and Wärtsilä.

This coalition of companies has been brought together by Finland Chamber of Commerce and Technology Finland. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Office of the President of the Republic of Finland have also offered critical aid and assistance to the operation. The Prime Minister’s Office and other ministries have also been informed of this operation.

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