A well-meaning plan by the Greek government to supply all schools nationwide with ‘free face masks’ has backfired in a rather humorous fashion.
The masks were manufactured in such a large size, that they cover the whole face! This ‘one size fits all’ mask was too large for children, let alone adults.
The error was due to the wrong measurements being taken, with Greek contractor Yiannis Stathopoulos, who won the tender for 500,000 masks, telling Open TV on Tuesday that “the size was too large from the start.”
The masks, intended for children under 10, measured 10 by 18 centimetres and those for older school children, a ginormous 12 by 22 centimetres.
Greek officials admitted the failure on Tuesday afternoon following the delivery of the first batch of enormous masks to schools this week causing a stir.
Greek deputy health minister Vassilis Kontozamanis attempted to describe the failure as ‘a misunderstanding between the government and the contractor,’ declaring that the measurements were given for pre-stitched fabric.
Presumably, the person who made the order for the masks rather omitted the part explaining precisely how they should be pre-stitched, as the end product ended up being so large that two holes had to be cut where the eyes are supposed to be. This prompted hilarious images on social media with ridiculous imagery of the gigantic masks schoolchildren brought home.
Greeks have also gone so far as to dub the masks ‘parachute masks’.
The now rather infamous mask maker Mr Stathopoulos, insists that he had “followed his contract to the letter,” further claiming that the specifications had been “provided by Greece’s government committee of health experts on coronavirus.”
The Greek PM, Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ own sister, ruling party MP Dora Bakoyannis, has described the situation as a “catastrophic failure.”
The Greek health ministry, for its role in this matter, has vowed to have the mask issue fixed quickly.