“I would like to express my heartfelt concerns about the situation in Kazakhstan, a country closely familiar to me, a country that has been heralded as a beacon of stability and the most affluent country in the region. I deeply regret the tragic loss of human lives during the past weeks and call upon all sides to refrain from any violence or provocations. It is imperative that social peace and trust be reinstated”, says Mr Kimmo Kiljunen.

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The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) reported last autumn that only six under 16-year-olds had required intensive care for Covid-19 in Finland by October 2021. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

A CHILD has died of the coronavirus disease presumably for the first time in Finland. Ilkka-Pohjalainen on Wednesday reported that a school-aged child died of the disease last weekend in Laihia, a roughly 8,000-resident municipality in Ostrobothnia.

The death was confirmed to Helsingin Sanomat by Markku Laukkonen, the acting director of education services in Laihia.

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The rooftops of blocks of flats in Töölö, Helsinki, on 12 October 2021. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

DECEMBER was unusually busy for the sales of old houses in spite of the number of houses on the market being exceptionally low, tells Kiinteistömaailma.

The Finnish real estate agency reported at the beginning of the month that it brokered a total of 940 sales of old houses last month, signalling its highest ever total for December. The sales of new houses, by contrast, were roughly 50 per cent lower than in December 2020.

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Jorma Malinen, the chairperson at Trade Union Pro, spoke to reporters in Helsinki in February 2020. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

TRADE UNION PRO and Technology Industry Employers of Finland on Thursday settled their differences over the terms and conditions of employment of salaried employees in the technology industry, reports STT.

The industry has thereby averted the strikes and overtime bans that were to begin on Friday, 14 January.

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A Helsinki bar informed passers-by that “everything is cancelled” on 12 January 2022. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH INSTITUTE for Health and Welfare (THL) is proposing that bars, pubs, nightclubs and other restaurants serving primarily alcohol be shut down completely as soon as possible for at least three weeks to reduce social contact and protect public health, reports YLE.

The nationwide shutdown, it acknowledged, may have to be extended beyond the initial duration.

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Pedestrians on a sanded but icy road in Suvela, Espoo, on 16 January 2022. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

MOTORISTS AND PEDESTRIANS in Finland should be careful due to the snowfall, strong winds and slippery road conditions forecast for this week, states the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI).

On Monday, road conditions are expected to be particularly difficult in northern parts of Lapland and Åland.

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An at-home test showing a positive result in a private residence in Espoo, Southern Finland, on 13 January 2022. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE MINISTRY of Social Affairs and Health on Wednesday unveiled a proposal drawn up by an expert task force for voluntary at-home testing.

At-home test kits, it stated, are recommended especially for people who are experiencing mild symptoms associated with a coronavirus infection and symptomatic under 12-year-olds together with their parents and siblings.

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Ministers Krista Kiuru (left), Sanna Marin and Anna-Maja Henriksson held a press conference as the government was preparing to declare a state of emergency in early March 2021. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has begun preparatory work to declare a state of emergency and invoke powers set forth in the emergency powers act, several independent sources revealed to Helsingin Sanomat on Wednesday.

The objective of the move is initially to safeguard the functioning of the social and health care system amid a surge in coronavirus infections, rather than to impose additional restrictions.

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A Covid-19 patient received intensive care in Seinäjoki Central Hospital in Seinäjoki, South Ostrobothnia, on 2 December 2021. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE NUMBER of Covid-19 patients in intensive care has surged to its highest level since the first wave of epidemic in spring 2020.

YLE on Monday reported that a total of 72 coronavirus patients were in intensive care in Finland on Sunday, representing a drop of one from Saturday. The number of patients simultaneously in intensive care peaked at more than 80 in April 2020.

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Otto Helve, a chief physician at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), was photographed at the weekly coronavirus briefing held by THL and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Helsinki on Thursday, 13 January 2022. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH INSTITUTE for Health and Welfare (THL) has revised its quarantine guidelines to allow physicians of infectious diseases to order quarantines with a duration ranging from five to ten days, instead of strictly ten days.

“The quarantine instruction is now for a duration of 5–10 days,” Otto Helve, a chief physician at THL, stated in Helsinki on Thursday.

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Updating the national coronavirus strategy is of no use in circumstances governed by law, views Kirsi Varhila, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

KIRSI VARHILA, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, has rejected demands to update the national strategy to manage the coronavirus pandemic to better reflect with the prevalent epidemiological situation.

Varhila on Tuesday told STT that updating the strategy is useless in circumstances governed by law.

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A Palestinian rides his bicycle through an inundated street, following torrential rains that hit the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza strip, on January 16, 2022. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Here are the most interesting news images of this week from all around the world.

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The municipal tax is one of the most important taxes by collected revenue in Finland, generating revenues of about 20.1 billion euros in 2020, according to the Finnish Tax Administration. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

MUNICIPAL TAX RATES were decreased at the start of the year in a dozen municipalities in Finland, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

According to the Association of Finnish Municipalities, the cuts affect around 140,000 Finns. Only 16 municipalities, meanwhile, increased their tax rates for this year, signalling the lowest number since the start of the 2000s. The tax hikes are estimated to affect over 115,000 Finns.

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