Covid-19 confirmed cases in Finland and other countries

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Source: Our world in data

People enjoy meals and drinks on a large open-air food court in the centrally-located Senate Square in Helsinki, Finland, late on July 17, 2020, the first Friday after lifting the COVID-related restrictions.

With the first wave of coronavirus having receded into history, Finns are partying like there’s no tomorrow. But there is a tomorrow—it’s called autumn—and once again it’s time to pay attention to the pandemic that isn’t going away.

July 1st was an ordinary summer day. In midafternoon, I walked a couple of kilometers to meet a friend at a wine bar in Kamppi. When it started to drizzle, everyone who had been sitting on the terrace fled to the bar’s intimate interior. It was still raining when we finished our wine, and I decided to take a tram home.

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In this file photo taken on January 5, 2018 the chamber sits empty before the start of a U.N. Security Council meeting concerning the situation in Iran, in New York City. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

The 14th of July 2020, marks the fifth anniversary of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Agreement. Iran showed its good faith by engaging in negotiations to reach a diplomatic solution as called for by all Security Council Resolutions on the nuclear issue. After thirteen years of complex negotiations, in 2015 Iran and the five permanent members of the United Security Council plus Germany signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is annexed to- and inseparable from-Resolution 2231.

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Skepticism about the value of wearing a mask to reduce the spread of coronavirus drives the current government policy. Widespread use of face masks has little, if any, effect on reducing the spread of upper respiratory infections, a working group led by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health concluded. The government’s unwillingness to recommend their use, except in shoulder-to-shoulder places like trams, is predicated on that finding.

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European Commissioner in charge of Economy Valdis Dombrovskis gives a press conference on a banking package to facilitate lending to households and businesses in the EU at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, 28 April 2020

European Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni hinted at the possibility that the Commission may utilise pan-European tools in the form of equities to rebalance risk in the Eurozone. On the same note, the French treasury proposed in a position paper an “equity fund” to recapitalise businesses or buy shares in domestic companies.

As the European crisis deepens and pressure on the Commission mounts, the following questions arise: How and in what scale will the Commission act? Will the Commission implement a direct or indirect financial instrument to stimulate economies of EU member states?

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Ambassador Cheon Joonho

 As Covid-19’s spread subdues in Finland and other countries, harsh restrictions to curb the transmission are being loosened gradually. Although this fight won’t end soon, hope to have a more normal life is getting high. In this global fight against Covid-19, countries have adopted various approaches, but the South Korean way has caught the eyes of the world, and for good reasons.  

In early March, my country had the highest number of confirmed cases in the world outside China. Many countries shut down their borders against South Korean travellers, and foreigners hurriedly left the country.

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The world is entering an era of unprecedented interdependence: Ambassador Chen Li

Since December 2019, China has been at the center of attention for a new and different reason, the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and the ensuing pandemic. While China took control of the spread inside it’s territory, the infection has now spread to almost every country in the world and both infection and deaths rates have surpassed that of China’s in some other countries. Helsinki Times sat down with Ambassador Chen Li in this exclusive interview to discuss issues related to the pandemic and China’s side of the story in this still unfolding global crisis.

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Minister of Education Li Andersson and Prime Minister Sanna Marin in press briefing on reopening of schools in Helsinki on 29 April 2020 / Lehtikuva

The Finnish government has decided to reopen basic education starting May 14th for the rest of the academic semester, which ends at the beginning of June. The decision does not leave any leeway for municipalities, schools, teachers or parents, and makes it compulsory for everyone. Teachers in risk groups or kids who have high-risk family members should present a doctor's statement to stay home. Those who have "flu-like" symptoms can also stay home.

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The Presidential Palace is illuminated in the colors of the Italian national flag and the words "we are with you" in Vilnius, Lithuania on March 31, 2020, expressing solidarity and support for Italy. / Lehtikuva

It’s a new world order defined by the global health politics of Coronavirus. The borders are back and resealed. Maybe just temporarily or perhaps we are back to where we started before the current global integration. The year 2020 started on a high note. At least, besides the old known problems, we were not expecting fundamentally earthshaking ones. Forecasts were positive and optimism was high.

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Slovak military personnel unload an Ukrainian cargo plane An-12 Ruslan shortly after it has arrived from China, loaded with 74 tons of face masks, respirators and.../ Lehtikuva

In the past few weeks, the COVID-19 epidemic has spread at an unexpected pace into a pandemic. Meanwhile, the situation in China is trending steadily towards a positive direction. At present, we are working around the clock to resume production, putting medical protective materials on the top of manufacturing list, and trying our best to support the world in the fight against the virus. However, China’s motives were questioned and politically interpreted recently.

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“We are a group of concerned parents who started a PETITION to the Government on 13 March to close Universities, schools, daycares, public places and events due to the coronavirus outbreak. Following the announcement of THL on the testing approach and WHO recommendations to isolate, test, treat and trace in order to suppress and control the epidemic, we updated our petition to include also a plea to the Government to re-consider the testing approach.

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When a cruise ship sinks in the ocean or an airliner crashes and the causes are examined retrospectively, human error turns out to be the most common cause of the disaster. Someone pushed the wrong button, miscommunicated, slept on his watch, missed the signs or misunderstood or disobeyed instructions.   

In our Titanic today, that navigator, who doesn’t believe in maps and thinks the best way forward is right through the iceberg, seems to be Mr Mika Salminen, The director of health safety at Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

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