Empty hospital beds in Central Finland Central Hospital in Jyväskylä on 7 April 2020. (Tommi Anttonen – Lehtikuva)


THE NUMBER of Covid-19 cases crept up by 90 to 3,064 in Finland between Sunday and Monday, according to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

The number of laboratory-confirmed infections continued to rise sharply in Länsi-Pohja Hospital District, a roughly 65,000-resident district formed by the six most south-western municipalities in Finnish Lapland.

Number of infections surpasses 3,000

  • The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare says the number of laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 90 to 3,064 on Monday.
  • Almost two-thirds (1,924) of the cases have been detected in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS).
  • The new coronavirus has an incidence of 55 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Finland.
  • The virus has caused the deaths of 59 people. The median age of the 37 fatalities whose ages are known is 81.
  • Nearly 46,000 samples have been tested for the virus, representing an increase of 350 from Sunday.

The incidence of the new coronavirus in the district increased from 74.6 to 82.9 per 100,000 inhabitants, whipping up calls for imposing stricter restrictions on travel across the border between Finland and Sweden. The only district with a higher incidence rate, of 114.1, is the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS).

The Finnish government is currently mulling over whether to extend the lockdown of Uusimaa.

“I’d personally try to bring the coronavirus numbers in Uusimaa to the levels of Turku and Tampere. That’d require that we wait longer with the current measures or [introduce] stricter measures for the short term,” Lasse Lehtonen, the director of diagnostic services at HUS, said on Twitter on Monday.

He warned that the situation could re-escalate if the government has no patience with the restrictions that have proven effective in slowing down the spread of the virus.

“That’s when we’d have to revise the forecasts again.”

Aki Lindén (SDP), a former chief executive at HUS, similarly reminded that the road out of the pandemic remains a long one.

“Will we first move gradually toward a situation where we go on with our lives as normally as possible, side by side with the continuing coronavirus epidemic until an exit is made possible by vaccines, medicines or the virus weakening?” he asked. “It’ll be difficult.”

Members of the Finnish government were presented with an overall assessment of the situation by government official on Monday. The assessment is to be used as a basis for making decisions on measures to fight the coronavirus, including the possible lifting of the lockdown of Uusimaa.

Some 15,000 laid off due to epidemic

  • The Ministry of Employment and the Economy has reported that around 15,000 people have been laid off and 110,000 temporarily laid off due to the coronavirus epidemic.
  • Businesses with at least 20 employees have initiated consultative talks with a total of 393,966 employees.

Travel in and out of the over 1.6-million-resident region was limited between 28 March and 19 April. Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) on Saturday reiterated that she considers it unlikely that the lockdown will be extended.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi