The new coronavirus has claimed lives in nursing homes in at least Espoo, Helsinki and Kiuruvesi, according to Helsingin Sanomat. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)


TWENTY-SIX ELDERLY PEOPLE have contracted and nine of them have died of the new coronavirus in nursing homes in Helsinki, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The City of Helsinki confirmed late yesterday that infections have been detected in three city-owned facilities and three private facilities, assuring that it is doing its utmost to prevent the virus from spreading by isolating suspected carriers from other residents in a way that they feel as safe as possible.

Number of infections rises to 2,308

  • The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has reported that the number of laboratory-confirmed coronavirus infections in Finland increased by 132 to 2,308 on Tuesday.
  • Well over a half (1,438) of the infections have been detected in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS).
  • The virus has an incidence rate of 42 per 100,000 residents.
  • The death toll from the virus stands at 34, with the median age of the 27 fatalities whose ages are known being 84.
  • A total of 34,900 samples have been tested for the virus, signalling an increase of 2,100 from Monday.
  • THL on Tuesday also said it will study the spread of the new coronavirus by inviting people to antigen tests based on random sampling.

“The isolation measures can understandably cause discomfort to residents and concern among their loved ones,” acknowledged Seija Meripaasi, the head of hospital, rehabilitation and care services at the City of Helsinki.

The City of Helsinki also said the nursing staff are following hand wash procedures and wearing protective equipment recommended by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The administration of the city, however, has expressed its concern about the nationwide availability of such equipment amid the pandemic, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

Meripaasi told Ilta-Sanomat on Tuesday that 38 staff members in six nursing facilities have also been infected with the coronavirus. “There has been enough protective equipment so far, but we’ll need a lot more going forward,” she said.

The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) has reported a total of 1,438 coronavirus infections, including 802 in Helsinki.

Helsingin Sanomat wrote yesterday that it has looked into the spread of the virus in a nursing where two elderly people have died and up to half of the residents have contracted the coronavirus in one division.

The rapid spread can be party attributed to the fact that the division was unable to completely prevent symptomatic residents with memory disorders from using the common facilities. Another contributing factor was that the use of protective gear and other counter-measures was based on the assumption that there were no additional infections.

The coronavirus has been confirmed to claim lives also in nursing homes in Espoo and Kiuruvesi, Northern Savonia.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT