Greek authorities cancelled a contract with a face-mask maker on Monday after it became abundantly clear that many masks made for primary school children were too big to fit them.
According to reports, about one in three face masks, almost 1.5 million, distributed to students on the first day back at school were the wrong size.
The General Secretariat of Public Health in a statement that the wording of the contract relating to sizes was not clear, “with the result that a number of the masks distributed were larger than appropriate.”
Don't know if I should laugh or cry with this story from my birthland: First day of school in #Greece & the government provided these #masks to the children. Alas they are completely wrong size, HUGE.😂
Parents don't pick up the wrong kid! 🚸😷#μασκες #σχολεια #αγιασμος pic.twitter.com/rDf9Q0k7eW
— Gerry Stergiopoulos (@GerryGreek) September 14, 2020
According to the specifications, the three sizes of masks needed were indeed stipulated: one very small for the children of kindergarten age, one slightly larger for elementary school students and a larger one for high school and teachers.
However, the communication between officials and contractors broke down completely. Students uploaded hilarious photos of their faces completely obscured by the masks. “Parents — don’t pick up the wrong kid!” someone wrote on Twitter.
The contractors will resume production based on new specifications regarding the dimensions of the masks. In the meantime, Minister for Education Niki Kerameus promised that single-use masks will be given to children and staff for now
Opposition Movement for Change (KINAL) on Tuesday lambasted the government over the problems with the outsize face masks “for giants” handed out to school children on the first day of school, calling it an “uprecedented fiasco” and claiming that the “government opened the schools without the proper preparation for the protection of the children’s health.”
KINAL said that the government “imposed overcrowding in the classrooms and put all the weight on the masks, which they also made a mess of. An unprecedented fiasco with giant-size masks for children. It is outrageous that those responsible still hold their office.”